Edgar Degas - Racehorses in a Landscape 1894

Racehorses in a Landscape 1894
Racehorses in a Landscape
1894 48x64cm pastel
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain

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From Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid:
A group of jockeys, formally dressed for the occasion, prepare for a cross-country race through an imposing landscape of hills lit by the setting sun. This picture is very much in the tradition of the outdoor horserace scenes painted in England in the late eighteenth century, and subsequently emulated by painters such as Delacroix and Bonington. Degas himself produced a similar outdoor scene in 1884; in this pastel, however, he moves away from a literal rendering, giving free rein to his skills as a colourist. This shift may reflect the influence of Paul Gauguin—whose painting The Moon and the Earth Degas had bought in 1893 and of his own experience in producing colour monotypes.