In 1872, tired and weary from fighting in the Franco-Prussian War, dealing with failing eyesight and depressed after losing his best friend and the love of his life, artist Edgar Degas took a break to regroup. He left Paris to visit his mother's birthplace and her Creole family in New Orleans. During his visit, Degas stayed with his family in a stately home on fashionable Esplanade Avenue. Inspired by this most exotic of American cities and still developing his painting style, Degas was extremely prolific, creating 18 paintings during his 4½ month visit. Besides being revitalized by New Orleans, Degas was greatly inspired by the bustling city.