A Closer Look
As an Impressionist, Edgar Degas painted impressions of what he saw. He didn't paint as many details as artists did in the Renaissance, for example. Many Impressionists made their artworks look fuzzy on purpose. They wanted to show feelings rather than realistic scenes. An example of an impression might be your footprint on the sand. It is a likeness of your foot but not exactly like it.
About the Painting
Race Horses at Longchamp is set at the Longchamp racetrack, located in a park in Paris, France. It was one of Degas’ favorite places to paint. He created more than ninety paintings and drawings of racehorses during his career. Many of them are done in pastels, but Race Horses at Longchamp is an oil painting. Although he painted in different styles, Degas is generally considered an Impressionist.
About the Artist
Edgar Degas liked to paint and draw moving things, so ballet dancers and horses were some of his favorite subjects. Degas was born in Paris, where many other artists went to study. Instead, he left Paris and studied art in Italy for five years. Only one of his paintings was bought by a museum during his lifetime. Now he is one of the most famous painters of all time and his pictures are in museums all over the world.
Renaissance : the period of European history from the 14th century through the 17th century, when art, science, architecture, and literature blossomed.
Impressionism : a French art movement from the 1860s, in which artists painted outdoor scenes and used small brushstrokes to illustrate reflected light.
Write About It
- Make a list of what you see.
- How did the artist use the elements and principles of design?
- What do you think the painting means? How does it make you feel?
- Select two paintings to compare & contrast.