Race Horses (1885-1888) by Edgar Degas

Race Horses - Edgar Degas - c.1873

Artwork Information

TitleRace Horses
ArtistEdgar Degas
Dimensions11 7/8 x 16 in.
Art MovementImpressionism

About Race Horses

“Race Horses,” created by artist Edgar Degas circa 1873, is a pastel work belonging to the Impressionist movement. As a genre painting, it measures approximately 11 7/8 by 16 inches. Characteristic of Degas’s style and thematic interests, the artwork adeptly captures a moment in the daily life of racehorses and jockeys.

The artwork vividly portrays a group of racehorses accompanied by their riders, alluding to a scene commonly observed at the racetrack. Degas, with his masterly application of pastels, imparts a sense of movement and vitality to the figures of the horses and their jockeys. The horses appear in mid-stride, suggesting a fluidity in motion, while the riders are depicted with great attention to the details of their colorful racing silks. The background is rendered with loose, expressive brushwork, emphasizing the Impressionist concern with light and atmosphere. The open composition and the informal arrangement of subjects within the frame reflect the spontaneous quality of the artwork, showcasing Degas’s innovative approach to genre painting and his keen interest in contemporary life.

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