Probably commissioned by Thomas, 5th baron King [1712-1779], London and Ockham Park, Surrey; by descent at Ockham Park to Peter Malcolm, 4th earl of Lovelace [1905-1964]; (his sale, Sotheby's, London, 13 July 1937, no. 133); purchased by (M. Knoedler & Co., London); purchased 1938 by Philip Hill; Mrs. Philip Hill [later Mrs. Warwick Bryant] until 1959. (Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York); purchased December 1960 by Paul Mellon, Upperville, Virginia; gift 1964 to NGA.
- Canaletto in England, Guildhall, London, 1959, no. 6.
- Extended loan for use by Ambassador David K.E. Bruce, U.S. Embassy residence, London, England, 1964-1969 (on loan to Embassy when given to NGA; lent prior to 1964 by Paul Mellon).
- Extended loan to the Ambassador, U.S. Embassy residence, Brussels, Belgium, 1969-1972.
- Extended loan to the Ambassador, U.S. Embassy residence, Rome, Italy, 1972-1977.
- Canaletto, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1989-1990, no. 76.
- Canaletto & England, Birmingham Gas Hall Exhibition Gallery, England, 1993-1994, no. 38, repro., as Capriccio: river landscape with a column, a ruined Roman arch, and reminiscences of England.
- Canaletto in England: A Venetian Artist Abroad, 1746-1755, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, 2006-2007, no. 71, repro.
- Finberg, Hilda F. "The Lovelace Canalettos." The Burlington Magazine 72 (February 1938): 68-71.
- Constable, William George. Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768. 2 vols. Oxford, 1962: 1:pl. 87; 2:413, no. 474.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 22, Landscape Capriccio with Column.
- Eeles, Adrian. Canaletto. London, 1967: 37, color pl. 43.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 14, repro., as Landscape Capriccio with Colomn.
- Puppi, Lionello. The Complete Paintings of Canaletto. Milan, 1968: 117, repro., no. 308.
- Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 43.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 52, repro., as Landscape Capriccio with Column.
- Constable and Links 1976, 1:pl. 87; 2:446, no. 474.
- Links, J. G. Canaletto and His Patrons. London, 1977: 76-77, pl. 114.
- Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. Washington, 1979: 1:105-106, 2:pl. 71, as Landscape Capriccio with Column.
- Links, J. G. Canaletto. Oxford, 1982: 192, pl. 186.
- Corboz, André. Canaletto: Una Venezia immaginaria. Catalogue compiled by Anna Tortorelo. 2 vols. Milan, 1985: 2:704, repro., no. P 368.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 73, repro.
- Baetjer, Katharine, and J. G. Links. Canaletto. Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1989: 256-259, no. 76.
- Constable, W. G. Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768. 2nd edition revised by J. G. Links, reissued with supplement and additional plates. 2 vols. Oxford, 1989: 1:pl. 87; 2:146-147, 446, no. 474.
- Liversidge, Michael, and Jane Farrington. Canaletto & England. Exh. cat. Birmingham Gas Hall Exhibition Gallery, Birmingham, 1993: 26, 27, 99, color repro. 99.
- Ross, Nicholas. Canaletto. London, 1993: 132, repro., as Capriccio: River Landscape with a Column and a Ruined Roman Arch and Reminiscences of England.
- Russell, Francis. "A Suffusion of Light." Country Life 187 (14 October 1993): 64.
- De Grazia, Diane, and Eric Garberson, with Edgar Peters Bowron, Peter M. Lukehart, and Mitchell Merling. Italian Paintings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 35-39, color repro. 36.
The support is a plain-weave, medium-weight fabric. The thread count differs slightly from the support of the pendant (1964.2.2) and confirms that different rolls of fabric were used for each. A thin white ground is visible at the edges of the paint surface. The paint was applied wet-over-dry with only a few small passages painted wet-in-wet. The composition was built up from the middle ground, with each compositional detail completed before the addition of subsequent pictorial elements above. The column as well as the figures were painted over the fully developed landscape. The figures were sketched quickly with a dark wash that was allowed to dry before color was added over it using a thicker, opaque paint, with a lighter hue for the highlighted areas and a darker tone of the same color for the shadows. The highlights were applied more thickly. Some red pigment was added to create a warmer tonality in the sky. X-radiographs reveal successive minor changes to the gabled top of the small architectural element at the base of the column.
The tacking margins have been removed, but cusping along the vertical edges suggests that the painting retains its original dimensions. Small losses are located in the upper-left corner, and slight abrasion is evident in the thinly painted areas of the distant landscape. The varnish is slightly yellowed. The painting, which was lined at an unknown date, has not been treated since acquisition.