Alberto Pasini was a celebrated Orientalist painter and lithographer. His scenes incorporate superb draftsmanship and a great sensitivity to color. He is also known for his juxtaposition of different social types brought together by the common bonds of trade and religion, all portrayed with his natural sense of composition and realism.
Born in Busseto in the Parma province of Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Pasini studied at the Parma Academy and was a student of French painter Théodore Rousseau, a noted leader of the Barbizon movement. The most important and extensively traveled of all the Italian Orientalist painters, Pasini enjoyed success both in his native country, and in France, where he spent much of his time after 1851. Pasini first exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1853, two years after his arrival in the French capital. He studied with the painter and lithographer Eugène Ciceri (1813–1890) and became a friend of the already well-known painter Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856).
Unlike many of his contemporaries who created their Orientalist paintings in Paris studios based on secondary accounts and arranged studio props, Pasini undertook numerous trips to the Middle East. Pasini received several medals at the Paris Exhibitions Universelles in 1859, 1863, 1864 and 1899, and at the Vienna Exhibition in 1873. He was created a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1868 and became an Officer in 1878.