This painting, also known as “The Mill”, is a steam room for the painting “Departure of the Queen of Sheba.” Both works are believed to have been ordered by Cardinal Camillo Pamphili, Pope Innocent X’s nephew, to Lorrain.
However, even before their completion, Pamphili violated the obligatory celibacy vow for the cardinal, lost the cardinal rank and was expelled from Rome by his angry uncle. In the meantime, the Duke of Bouillon, who was in military service in the papal army, acquired both paintings.
According to some reports, later Pamphili asked Lorrain to make a copy of The Mill. “The Mill” is inscribed, which is very unusual for the works of Lorrain. And this inscription is quite pertinent, because it explains to the viewer the plot of the work, which seems to be interpreting a biblical story, but in fact designed to give an exceptional image of the joyful harmony between man and nature.