Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Racehorses at Longchamp 1873-1875, Edgar Degas

This small painting, 11x15 inches, c. 1873-1875, was purchased by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1903, for $12,000,* which contradicts the written comment that Degas only sold one painting to a museum in his lifetime.  "The Cotton Market in New Orleans" was the other one. Although this painting was purchased from one of the several buyers of the work, it was not sold directly by Degas to the museum.

Degas painted more race-track paintings than ballerina paintings, 91 works in this category.  His paintings of horses really show his mastery of horse anatomy, yet done with such a light hand and again, from a different angle. .

Degas enjoyed painting jockeys and horses and would select individual jockeys and rearrange them into his own compositions.He enjoyed sketching at Longchamps, one of his favorite places to sketch.

Longchamps was and is a  racetrack in Paris, in the Bois de Boulogne, a beautiful park.  And if you are in Paris, and it's  beautiful day, you might want to visit.  The entrance fee is 4 euros, you could bring a picnic lunch and even try your hand at betting.

*$12,000 is worth $240,000 today.   

Racehorses at Longchamps. c 1873-1875. Oil on Canvas.  Edgar Degas.  Dover Publications.


  1. Awesome painting, but 12 grand? Yikes! Out of my budget, for sure. :-)

  2. And more now, Debi. But we can look at it and some web sites will copy a painting for you with real paint, I think.

  3. All the horses seem calm, moving in a stream, except the one with the blue silk jockey. He was not giving up.
    Am loving paintings by Degas.

  4. I love this painting, it's my favourite so far. I couldn't afford one of those copies either.

  5. I like this painting, as well, the fluidity of the horses, and the relaxed postures of the men. Thanks for the information.

  6. What a beautify painting! I'm a lover of landscape paintings in particular and I love this one :).

  7. He captured movement so lightly both with the horses and the dancers. This is a lovely painting.

  8. Hi Tasha ... interesting looking at the riders and runners taking a leisurely stroll to the starter's gate presumably - I've never been to Longchamps .. but would like to at some stage ... I like the colour he used ... cheers Hilary