Persepolis (Old Persian Pârsa, modern Takht-e Jamshid): Greek name of one of the capitals of the ancient Achaemenid Empire, founded by king Darius the Great (r.522-486 BC)
The scene depicted on the canvas is a Bas Relief from the eastern staircase in the palace complex of Persepolis and shows a Lydian delegation (from Western Turkey) on their way to pay tribute to the Persian king Darius the Great around 500 BC. The delegation is led by one of the 10,000 Immortals who were the personal guard of the king. This tribute would have occurred every year on the occasion of the Persian new year Now Ruz, which occurs on the first day of spring. Groups representing all the nations in the Persian empire would have similarly visited Persepolis to pay tribute.
The Lydians had become part of the Persian Empire upon the defeat of King Croesus by Cyrus the Great in 546 BC. The Lydian empire and Croesus in particular were renown for their extreme wealth. Prior to embarking on his military campaign against the Persians, Croesus consulted the famed Oracle of Delphi in Greece. The Oracle foretold with typical ambiguity the now famous response that if Croesus attacked the Persians, he would destroy a great empire. Croesus thus marched unwittingly to his own demise.