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The Chariot Race

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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Depiction of a chariot race in a Roman stadium known as a circus. The scene is extremely dramatic and places the viewer directly in the path of the galloping horses, who appear to be almost flying along, with all four hooves lifted off the ground at once. The foreground is filled by the extensive race track with two chariots pulled by teams of four horses leading the battle for the prize; they are followed by a chaotic stream of other contenders who are obscured by clouds of dust. A fallen horse can be distinguished between the two leading teams. The chariot race drivers are in different colour tunics. The driver in red is in the lead, the brown close behind, and the driver in blue is coming up behind them to the left. A wheel has come off a chariot and lies in the path of the blue team.


The Chariot Race




oil on canvas


H 138.2 x W 347 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Mrs E. M. Higgins, 1898

Work type


Inscription description

Signed at right bottom corner: A Wagner (AW in mon)


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Normally on display at

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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