At the Races (1868 – 1872) by Edgar Degas

At the Races - Edgar Degas - 1868 - 1872

Artwork Information

TitleAt the Races
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1868 - 1872
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About At the Races

The artwork titled “At the Races” was created by the notable artist Edgar Degas between 1868 and 1872. It is executed in oil as a medium and is representative of the Impressionism movement. This genre painting is part of a private collection and exemplifies Degas’s interest in the world of horse racing, which was a recurrent theme in his oeuvre.

The artwork reveals a scene at a racetrack, featuring an ensemble of figures that include jockeys mounted on their horses and spectators. The composition is laid out in a manner where the viewer’s gaze is drawn across various focal points, from the riders preparing in the foreground to the horses and figures that extend into the background, creating a sense of depth. The brushwork is loose and expressive, a hallmark of the Impressionist style, capturing the essence of the moment rather than the intricate details.

Degas employs a palette that conjures the outdoors, with earthy tones dominating the foreground, while the sky above is rendered in light blues and soft whites, suggesting the fleeting quality of light and atmosphere. The gestural quality of the brushstrokes imparts a sense of movement and vitality to the scene, evoking the bustling energy of a day at the races. Despite being a snapshot of everyday leisure, the artist infuses the scene with a sophisticated exploration of composition, light, and color, hallmark traits of Impressionism.

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