Marlow was a skilled landscape painter specialising in topographical views. He studied with the artist Samuel Scott and at the St Martin's Lane Academy, London. His travels in France and Italy resulted in numerous drawings, especially of picturesque ruins, which formed the basis of many of the paintings made on his return to Britain. He made copies of paintings by Canaletto and his own depictions of Italian scenes were popular as souvenirs of the Grand Tour. Marlow was also commissioned by his aristocratic patrons to paint views of their country houses in addition to sea views and riverscapes.