Boats filled with cargo make their way down the Seine River. On the near shore, several boats have docked and are unloading while gentlemen conduct business near by. During the late 1700s Paris was a bustling commercial center, and market places like this one were becoming a common sight.
On the right is the Pont Neuf, one of the oldest bridges in Paris. Behind the bridge, is a triangular bit of land, the Ile de la Cité; the twin towers of the façade of Nôtre Dame are visible in the far distance. On the other side of the river is the Institute of France. Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Raguenet used a large horizontal format for his panoramic view, much like that used by Canaletto in his views of Venice. Grand Tourists often bought such urban views as souvenirs of their European travels.
Raguenet specialized in views of Paris and owned a small shop for their sale in the rue de la Colombe on the Ile de la Cité. This view of Paris in the 1700s and its companion piece, View of Paris from the Pont Neuf, were probably made for an English patron, Lord Holland.