The Riders (1875 – 1876) by Edgar Degas

The Riders - Edgar Degas - 1875 - 1876

Artwork Information

TitleThe Riders
ArtistEdgar Degas
Date1875 - 1876
Art MovementImpressionism

About The Riders

“The Riders” is a genre painting by the artist Edgar Degas, executed between the years 1875 and 1876. The artwork is an exemplar of the Impressionist movement, a style known for its innovative approach to depicting light and capturing moments of modern life.

The artwork portrays a group of individuals on horseback, appearing to traverse a verdant landscape. The painting is horizontally elongated, which emphasizes the procession of riders moving across the field. Degas’ use of loose brushstrokes and an earthy color palette are indicative of the Impressionist technique, which sought to render scenes with a sense of immediacy and vivacity. The lighting is soft and diffuse, casting no harsh shadows, and contributing to the overall sense of movement and fluidity.

Foregrounding the composition, riders are depicted with varying degrees of detail, with some figures more defined than others, reflecting movement and the free flow of the atmosphere. The background is minimal and sketchy, enhancing the focus on the horse-riders and inviting the viewer to concentrate on the gestural quality of the work over precise representation. The forms and figures merge with the surroundings, suggesting a unity between humans and nature that is central to the ethos of the Impressionist movement.

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