Edgar Degas - Jockeys 1886

Jockeys 1886
1886 38x87cm Pastel/paper
Hill-Stead Museum, CT, United States

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From Hill-Stead Museum:
There were two periods in the career of Edgar Degas when jockeys were the subjects of his work: first, in the 1860s, when Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann were rebuilding Paris and planning Longchamps, the finest racetrack in the world; and second, in the early 1880s, when his work reflected his interest in the study of movement, photography, and Japanese art. Jockeys is from the latter period, where the influence of Japanese woodblock prints is evident in the artist’s compositional technique, namely in the truncating of the figures and the use of a diagonal line of mounted jockeys to create a dynamic perspective against the horizontal plane of fields and sky.
Mr. Pope purchased Jockeys in 1892 when the family still lived in Cleveland, Ohio. When they moved to Hill-Stead in 1901, they installed the pastel over the mantel in the dining room, where visitors can see it today. Mr. Pope commissioned a new frame for the piece in 1907, designed by Herman Dudley Murphy of the Boston frame-makers, Carrig-Rohane.