In the company of Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguste, comte de Choiseul-Gouffier (1752–1817), an antiquities collector and member of the French high nobility, the artiste-archéologue Cassas travelled to Constantinople between 1784 and 1787. Choiseul-Gouffier was at the time France's ambassador to the Ottoman government, the Sublime Porte. With his journey to Greece and, from there, to regions of the Ottoman Empire, Cassas widened what had until then been the European horizon of his travels. On the comte's instructions, he undertook another journey that, over the course of 15 months, brought him from Constantinople to Syria and Palestine and then to Egypt. As part of the mission, he rendered the most important regions, monuments, and people of these countries. During the journey he also assembled a portfolio of over 300 drawings. After his return to Rome in 1784, a plan was devised to publish a collection of engravings on the basis of his drawings. The political events of 1789, however, put his patron, Choiseul-Gouffier, in financial difficulties, and Cassas was forced to return to Paris to find new funds.
A. Tardieu, M.F. Dien et al.: Frontispiece to Comte de Choiseul-Gouffier, in: Illustrations de Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce, 1782–1822; source: Bibliothèque nationale de France, public domain.