Since antiquity Tivoli had been a popular summer residence for Romans. In the 16th century Cardinal d’Este built a splendid complex there with a palace, gardens, and fountains that attracted artists and travellers. From his drawings made on location, Hackert composed a vista in which he presented the buildings and the famous waterfalls in an ideal manner in a fresh atmosphere and within lush vegetation and in doing so also deviated from the topography such as by changing the course of the river.