Bauernfeind visited Jaffa in 1880, during his first trip to Palestine. In a letter written from Beirut in January 1881, he noted that ‘Two days before Christmas I took leave from Jerusalem and went to Jaffa, where I arrived in one piece by evening. After the stony wastes of Jerusalem, the luxuriant vegetation of Jaffa impressed me wonderfully, and you cannot conceive the magnificence of the orange gardens with their trees fairly bursting with hanging golden fruit. Although I had to wait for the steamer for several days (over Christmas) I could not get a stitch of work done, as I would be immediately waylaid by acquaintances.’ Although this letter gives the impression that Bauernfeind’s first trip to Jaffa was in December 1880, he must have visited the town somewhat earlier in the year, since it was the main port of entry for visitors to Jerusalem. An earlier stay in Jaffa is further suggested by the date faintly penciled on the present sheet, which seems to read as June 1880.
Bauernfeind produced a number of watercolour drawings of specific sites in Jaffa and Damascus; places where only a handful of Orientalist painters had worked. The present sheet appears to be unrelated to any surviving painting by the artist. Stylistically comparable watercolours by the artist include several examples in the collection of the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich.