The view portrayed in "Taormina with Etna" brings to light a composition that is typical for Rottmann: The lengthy bay coastline runs in a wide arc from the left middle ground over and above the middle of the painting and back, then stretches further into the distance. The painting's feeling of great depth is achieved through a subtle staggering of very clear shading, a reduction of color intensity in the background as well as through a masterful manipulation of light. The zones that are lit from the sun and those that are cast in deep shadow, as in the right foreground, are placed alternatively next to each other. This, as well as the elevated standpoint of the observer gives the landscape a bird's eye view perspective.
This small oil painting is closely related to the cycle of Italian landscapes in the Hofgarten, which has a similar perspective. Rottmann made frequent use of his studies, which were made during his work on the large cycles, using individual motifs over and over again in various sized versions of paintings.