In 1872, weary and tired of fighting the Franco-Prussian War, dealing with impaired 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 the birthplace of his mother and her Creole family in New Orleans. During his visit, Degas stayed with his family in a manor house on trendy Esplanade Avenue. Inspired by this of America's most exotic cities and still developing his painting style, Degas was extremely prolific, creating 18 paintings during his 4 1/2 month visit. In addition to being revitalized by New Orleans, Degas drew heavily from the bustling city.