Best known for his distinctive interpretation of the Austrian Rococo style, Platzer studied with his father and uncle before enrolling at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Vienna in 1726.
The present painting is a remarkable display of the artist's use of brilliant, jewel-like coloring and meticulous finish to create small-scale cabinet paintings of historical or allegorical subjects as well as genre scenes and conversation pieces. Platzer's miniaturist technique and predilection for the use of copper as a support reveal his debt to the Leiden fijnschilders of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The subject of the present painting is based on an episode from the life of Alexander the Great. In October 331 BC, Alexander conquered Babylon and upon entering the city, met with the city's priests, the Chaldaeans. In 323 BC, after conquering Asia Minor, he passed through Babylon again, where he contracted an illness and died.
Platzer depicted other scenes from the life of Alexander the Great including The Amazon Queen, Thalestris, in the camp of Alexander the Great (sold, Christie's, London, 8 July 2008, lot 24).