Brown arrived in London as a young man, initially studying under fellow American, Benjamin West, P.R.A. (1738-1820). He began his career as a portraitist but keen to join the Royal Academy, turned his energies towards historical painting in the grand manner. Executed in 1794, following the Turkish ambassador's visit to London, the present work is a preliminary drawing for an oil painting Brown worked up shortly afterwards. It was engraved by Daniel Orme in 1796.
Mather Brown had formed a successful relationship with the engraver Orme in the early 1790s, and painted several similar historical paintings for engraving. However the relationship with Orme broke down shortly after the present work was completed.