A Carriage at the Races (1872) by Edgar Degas

A Carriage at the Races - Edgar Degas - 1872

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Artwork Information

TitleA Carriage at the Races
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions36.5 x 55.9 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, MA, US

About A Carriage at the Races

The artwork entitled “A Carriage at the Races” was created by Edgar Degas in 1872. This oil on canvas painting is a reflection of Degas’ interest in the world of horse racing, a common theme in his body of work. The painting is exemplary of the Impressionist movement, characterized by its depiction of leisure activities and its luminous portrayal of light. With dimensions of 36.5 by 55.9 centimeters, this genre painting is part of the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

In the artwork, viewers are presented with a scene of genteel society at a horse race. In the foreground, a carriage occupies a significant portion of the composition, with its occupants—a man holding a whip and a woman under a parasol, flanked by a man in a top hat—seated within. They are accompanied by a young child. The group appears to be attending the race, set against a backdrop of an expansive, open field dotted with spectators, horses, and jockeys. The pale, soft tones of the sky blend with the distant landscape, exhibiting Degas’ mastery of atmospheric effects. The painting’s perspective focuses on the social aspects of the event rather than the dynamism of the race, embodying the Impressionist interest in capturing the nuances of contemporary life.

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