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Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
Four Jockeys on Horseback, ca. 1868, reworked ca. 1878
Graphite, with stumping, on tracing paper mounted to board
Stamped at lower left in red ink, Degas.
15 7/8 x 15 inches (403 x 380 mm)
Thaw Collection; EVT 45
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This sheet provides an exceptional example of how Degas worked, reworked, and revised a particular scene over a span of years. Drawn on tracing paper, these studies were originally made in 1868 in connection with the painting Racecourse Scene (Weil Brothers-Cotton Inc., Montgomery, Alabama). Degas revisited the composition—and this sheet—a decade later in preparation for the painting Jockeys Before the Start (Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, England). In reworking the composition, he focused his attention, and his pencil, on the horse and rider at center, which are prominent in the Birmingham painting.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.