According to an inscription on the back of the picture `The Uncultivated Genius? was painted from life in Naples in 1775 during Allan?s extended stay in Italy (1764-77). Allan?s etching of this same subject bears an alternative title `Neapolitan Painter?. The hack artist is shown painting a view of the eruption of Vesuvius. Recent research has indicated that the target of Allan?s satire was probably Pietro Fabris, the popular landscape and figure painter. Fabris was a protege of Sir William Hamilton, the British Ambassador to Naples, who owned another version of this picture.