Born in Valenciennes in 1671, Jean-Baptiste Vanmour left for Constantinople in 1699 with the French Ambassador Charles de Ferriol. He remained there for thirty-eight years until his death in 1737, painting scenes of Ottoman life, views of Constantinople and as in the present work, depictions of diplomatic events. His Recueil de Cent Estampes représentant différentes Nations du Levant, commissioned by Ferriol and published in 1714, was enormously successful and was published in at least five languages. In 1725 he was granted the extraordinary title of Peintre Ordinaire du Roy en Levant in recognition of both his and the Levant's importance to the French government. Vanmour was an important precursor of Orientalism and Turquerie in the West, his influence extending both into painting and the decorative arts.
Ahmed III (1637-1736), Sultan of Turkey was the son of Mahommed IV and succeeded to the throne in 1703 on the abdication of his brother Mustafa II. He cultivated good relations with England, in view doubtless of Russia's menacing attitude. He afforded a refuge in Turkey to Charles XII of Sweden, after his defeat at Poltava (1709). He went to war against Russia in 1711, and against Venice in 1715, which led to hostilities with Austria, in which Turkey was unsuccessful, and Belgrade fell into the hands of Austria (1717). Through the mediation of England and Holland the peace of Passarowitz was concluded in 1718, by which Turkey retained her conquests from the Venetians, but lost Hungary. A war with Persia terminated in disaster, leading to a revolt of the janissaries, who deposed Ahmed in September 1730. He died in captivity some years later.