The Jockey (c.1887) by Edgar Degas

The Jockey - Edgar Degas - c.1887

Artwork Information

TitleThe Jockey
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, US

About The Jockey

“The Jockey” is an artwork created by Edgar Degas circa 1887. This piece is a genre painting executed in pastel and embodies the style of Impressionism. Housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, PA, USA, the artwork is a vivid representation of Degas’s interest in the world of horse racing, capturing the dynamic movement and energy of the subject matter that fascinated the artist throughout his career.

The artwork depicts a jockey mounted on a horse, presumably in motion. The composition is alive with the vigor of the race, as demonstrated by the stance of the horse and the focused posture of the jockey. Degas has skillfully employed the medium of pastel to achieve a sense of immediacy and spontaneity, with bold strokes and a vivid color palette that suggests the setting sun casting a warm glow over the scene. The foreground is animated with quick, expressive marks that denote the earthy terrain of the racetrack, while thin trees in the background appear to rush by, emphasizing the speed of the horse.

With great interest in both the form and function of the horse, Degas offers keen observation of the equine anatomy and the sport itself. The rider is clad in traditional racing silks, rendered with just enough detail to convey his role. The balance of both broad sweeps of color and finer details in the artwork exemplifies Impressionist techniques and showcases Degas’s fascination with motion and the modern life of his era.

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