Racehorses at Longchamp (1873 – 1875) by Edgar Degas

Racehorses at Longchamp - Edgar Degas - 1873 - 1875

Artwork Information

TitleRacehorses at Longchamp
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1873 - 1875
Art MovementImpressionism

About Racehorses at Longchamp

“Racehorses at Longchamp” is a notable work by the artist Edgar Degas. The artwork was created between the years 1873 and 1875 using oil on canvas as the medium. Positioned within the Impressionism movement, this genre painting depicts a scene at the famous Longchamp Racecourse in Paris.

In the artwork, one observes a group of racehorses and their jockeys. They are seemingly at a pause or in preparation for an event, rather than in the midst of racing. To the right of the composition stands a distinctive figure, presumably an attendant or a spectator, who is facing away from the viewer and looking toward the horses and riders, offering a sense of immediacy and perspective.

The artist employs a light but firm brushwork, characteristic of the Impressionist style, to capture the essence of the moment with a sense of fluidity and movement. The color palette is naturalistic with earthy tones predominating the scene, punctuated by the vivid colors of the jockeys’ attire. Degas showcases his skill in rendering equine anatomy and the subtleties of their musculature, a testament to his keen observation.

There is an apparent informality and an asymmetrical composition in the scene, creating a snapshot-like quality that was innovative at the time. It brings the viewers into the artwork with a sense of participation. Despite its casual composition, there’s an underlying sense of tension and anticipation, hinting at the competitive nature of the sport about to unfold.

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