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Jockeys before the Race

Photo credit: The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

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Notes

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Degas’s racing pictures generally concentrate on the undramatic moments before the start. Here, the starting-post bisects the composition, creating an instantaneous effect, suggestive of a snapshot. Figures and horses are obscured, cut by the frame and shown with the random feel of a fleeting glimpse. The unconventional composition is matched by an experimental technique mixing oil, bodycolour, pastel and essence (oil thinned with turpentine).

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Birmingham


Date

1878–1879

Medium

oil, essence, gouache & pastel on paper

Measurements

H 107.3 x W 73.7 cm

Accession number

50.2

Acquisition method

purchased, 1950

Work type

Painting

Inscription description

Signed: Degas


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Normally on display at

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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