Many orientalist contemporaries of Alberto Pasini created their paintings in studios based on secondary accounts and arranged studio props. Unlike them, Pasini travelled extensively through Persia, Arabia, Syria and Turkey, experiencing the unique character of these countries firsthand. His introduction to the Middle East came through the diplomat Prosper Boure who had asked him in 1855 to accompany him on a mission to Persia. At the conclusion of his duties with Boure, Pasini spent the following year travelling extensively in Turkey, Persia and Egypt. This expedition proved to be an incredible discovery for the painter and he returned to these parts four more times to renew his inspiration. The light and local colour, the resplendent finery of the figures and the decorated settings of the oriental architecture enchanted Pasini.