Like his attraction to the theater and the ballet, Degas’s enduring fascination with the races revealed
his interest in addressing moments of reflection or anticipation in the midst of urban life. His racecourse
subjects seldom depict the race itself and never the finish line. Instead, he focused on moments of rest
or transition, such as the tense moments before a start, showing jockeys and horses in suspended
motion, seemingly haphazardly dispersed across the canvas or page.