Claude has depicted an imaginary port at sunset. The artist painted a number of imaginary seaports (see 'Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba' and 'Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula'). The palace front at the left has been adapted from a gateway built in about 1570 and leading to the Farnese Gardens from the Forum in Rome. Behind it is the antique Arch of Titus. On the nearer building, a clock with a single hand gives the time as five o'clock.
The painting corresponds with drawing no. 43 in the 'Liber Veritatis' (British Museum), the inscription on which records the painting as having been made for Angelo Giorio (1586 - 1662), who was made a cardinal in 1643.