Wright's artistic interests varied widely, ranging from portraiture and scientific topics in his early "candlelight" period to popular subjects, romantic history, literature, and landscapes in later years. This painting dates from the end of Wright's career. It is a romantic and fantastic blend of his memories of Italy and the countryside of his native Derby.
In the foreground, a rustic figure sits by the side of a rock-strewn path; he is a small, lonely human presence in this broad and arresting view of nature. A path winds above him to the villas in the hills, while to the right the land gives way to a rolling meadow, a still lake, and a distant mountain. In the background great masses of earth rise dramatically, culminating in a long silhouette against the pale blue sky.
Wright's unorthodox use of color in the cliffs has an expressionistic quality that seems to foreshadow the works of later artists. At a distance from the painting the sharp contrast between the colors emphasizes the geometry of the forms. Viewed closer, the forms begin to flatten out into abstract patterns. While Wright's vision of nature is romantic in its use of light and color and in its pervasive nostalgic mood, it is also classical in its purity of line and form and in its controlled and balanced composition.
More information on this painting can be found in the Gallery publication British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries, which is available as a free PDF https://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/research/publications/pdfs/british-paintings-16th-19th-centuries.pdf