I am reading an interesting book, Degas in New Orleans. It was a thoughtful gift from Alex Zinner. Degas came to New Orleans at a formative period in his art. He was still looking for his major themes that solidified later. During the trip he produced a number of significant works. While he was in New Orleans Degas wrote back to France that his friend Manet would find great subjects for painting here. I would agree. Here is blog post I did a while back on Degas in New Orleans: Thoughts on Painters and Their Subjects (http://billives.typepad.com/portals_and_km/2015/04/degas-in-new-orleans-thoughts-on-painters-and-their-subjects.html) Below is one the works he did while here.
Many years after his trip to New Orleans Degas heard that Gauguin was looking for an exotic place in the world free of the strictures of modern life. Degas suggested New Orleans. Gauguin thought it might be too civilized and went to Tahiti instead. Looking at Gauguin’s work in Tahiti we might imagine how he would have portrayed turn of the 20th century New Orleans with it street markets, Storyville, voodoo, and jazz. His work might have created an indelible image of the city at that time. Below is a one of his Tahitian paintings. Imagine that style addressed to New Orleans.