In 1832 Friedrich Wilhelm III commissioned Blechen to paint the palm house that had been constructed to Schinkel’s designs on the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). The plan was to make a diptych for the king to give to his daughter, the tsarina of Russia. Blechen made careful preparations for this commission which meant a lot to him. In addition to numerous drawings he made this outstanding study, the sun flooding into the space with its tropical plants and fragrant climate. Waiting odalisques heighten the sense of oriental magic already conjured up by the Indian feel of the architecture.