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This small and unusual oil is claustrophobic in its intensity. In a dark woodland setting, a chestnut horse is tethered to a tree. The horse is saddled, but its rider is nowhere in sight. Degas suggests the horse's character – its hind legs are splayed as it pulls to get free, its head held high. Working from sketches and from memory, Degas captures the essentials of the animal's movement by using a strong outline and giving us few, distracting details.
oil on linen
22.2 x 31.7 cm
gift from Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944
The Burrell Collection
Pollok Country Park 2060 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G43 1AT ScotlandView venue
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