The youngest son of John Dillon, a silk mercer, Frank Dillon trained at the Royal Academy schools and under the topographical painter James Holland. He sent his first work, a view of Lisbon, to the Royal Academy in 1850 and subsequently became a regular exhibitor both to the RA and the British Institution. He was one of the founder members of the Dudley Gallery and after it closed in 1882 became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours.
Dillon travelled widely in Spain, Italy, Egypt, and the Far East. His first trip to Egypt took place in 1854 and the sketches he made there provided information for many future works. He was active in the preservation of the Arab monuments of Cairo, and also much involved in the opposition to the destruction of Philae.
Our picture was well received when exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1863. The Art Journal observed: 'Mr Dillon, in 'The Pyramids' (341), seen in the distant horizon, shadowed against a golden sunset, the moon with a star mounting towards the zenith, a grove of palms and sedgy reeds on the river's bank, has certainly seized on one of the most poetic effects in the whole Academy.'