Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in. (100 x 74.9 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Stephen Mazoh and Purchase, Bequest of Gioconda King, by exchange, 2008
Accession Number: 2008.277
Degas made sketches of this composition in a notebook he used during his second stay in Rome in 1857–58. Originally conceived as a depiction of a pensive woman, the picture assumed a mysterious air when Degas added the imaginary Middle Eastern cityscape, the pink flowers, and the two red ibises around 1860–62. About the same time he also considered adding the brilliant birds to his large historical painting Semiramis Building Babylon (Musée d'Orsay, Paris).