Three Women at the Races (c.1885) by Edgar Degas

Three Women at the Races - Edgar Degas - c.1885

Artwork Information

TitleThree Women at the Races
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationDenver Art Museum (DAM), Denver, CO, US

About Three Women at the Races

“Three Women at the Races” is a significant work by the esteemed artist Edgar Degas, crafted circa 1885 using pastel as the medium. Emblematic of the Impressionist art movement, this genre painting captures an evocative moment of social interaction and leisure. The artwork is part of the collection at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) located in Denver, Colorado, United States, where it remains accessible for public viewing and appreciation.

The artwork presents three women, presumably spectators at a horse-racing event, a theme that Degas explored frequently. In this pastel work, we notice a remarkable use of color and light, characteristic of the Impressionist style. Two of the figures are turned away from the viewer, engrossed in what appears to be an intimate conversation, while the third woman’s profile is partially visible as she leans into the group. Degas’s technique showcases his masterful ability to convey texture and movement within the garments of the women, notably through the use of bold strokes and contrasting tones.

The women’s attire is typical of the period, with elegant hats and form-fitting dresses, suggesting a sense of refinement and societal standing. Facial features are rendered with a degree of ambiguity, inviting viewers to focus on the overall composition and the dynamics between the figures rather than individual identities. The background is muted and abstracted, allowing for a focus on the subjects themselves. This approach is indicative of Degas’s innovative contributions to capturing contemporary life during the late 19th century.

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