Racehorses (c.1895 – c.1900) by Edgar Degas

Racehorses - Edgar Degas - c.1895 - c.1900

Artwork Information

ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1895 - c.1900
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

About Racehorses

The artwork “Racehorses” by Edgar Degas dates from around 1895 to 1900 and is a pastel drawing that embraces the Impressionist movement. This genre painting, reflecting scenes from everyday life, is part of the collection at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Canada.

The artwork depicts a scene of racehorses with their jockeys mounted, either during a race or perhaps in a moment of preparation or rest. The composition focuses on the animals and riders in profile, moving across the picture plane. Degas employs loose, expressive strokes typical of the pastel medium, capturing the dynamic motion of the horses and the vibrancy of the jockeys’ attire. The colors are somewhat muted, with hints of brighter colors in the jockeys’ silks set against the subdued tones of the horses and background, which reflect the typical Impressionist interest in light and atmosphere. While there is an element of realism in the rendering of the horses and riders, the overall effect is one of spontaneity and movement, emphasizing the fleeting moment, characteristic of Impressionism.

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