The Promenade on Houseback (1867 – 1868) by Edgar Degas

The Promenade on Houseback - Edgar Degas - 1867 - 1868

Artwork Information

TitleThe Promenade on Houseback
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1867 - 1868
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationHiroshima Museum of Art, Hiroshima, Japan

About The Promenade on Houseback

“The Promenade on Horseback,” painted by Edgar Degas between 1867 and 1868, is an exquisite example of the Impressionist movement rendered in oil on canvas. Classified as a genre painting, the artwork currently resides within the collection of the Hiroshima Museum of Art in Hiroshima, Japan. As an Impressionist piece, it encapsulates the vibrancy of the era, characterized by a fascination with light, color, and everyday scenes.

The artwork captures a serene, yet ephemeral moment of everyday life, a hallmark of genre paintings. A group of riders on horseback is depicted in a lush landscape bathed in the soft, warm glow of a setting or rising sun. The sky is ablaze with hues of orange, pink, and blue, suggesting either twilight or dawn. The natural setting is loosely painted with visible brushstrokes, giving the impression of movement and a fleeting moment captured in time.

Each figure is rendered with varying degrees of detail, from the more distinctly illustrated individual standing aloof on the right to the less defined figures towards the left. The artist’s focus on light and its effect on the scene is evident, as the riders and their horses cast gentle shadows on the grass, and the light diffuses softly across the entire landscape. The attire of the figures and their casual arrangement across the field contribute to the sense of leisure and convey the social customs of the era. The relaxed posture of the figures and the informal gathering suggests a moment of recreation among the upper classes, a subject Degas frequently explored.

Degas’ use of color, light, and texture in “The Promenade on Horseback” exemplifies the Impressionist movement’s departure from traditional artistic conventions, emphasizing the artist’s personal impression of a scene over photographic accuracy. The artwork stands as a testament to Degas’ mastery in depicting contemporary life through his unique perspective.

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