Support: Cream laid paper
Sheet: 29.5 x 24.3 cm (11 5/8 x 9 9/16 in.)
Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2009.123
Degas’s drawing Gentleman Rider alludes to
the steeplechase, a fashionable race in which the
riders were not professional jockeys but, instead,
“gentlemen.” Here, Degas demonstrated his
unceasing interest in the horse’s anatomy in
motion, playfully revising the position of the
animal’s hind legs, as he would a dancer’s. The
top-hatted rider remains a ghostly shadow—it is
clearly the horse rather than its rider who captured
the artist’s imagination.
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