At the Races

Edgar Degas (1834–1917) 
At the Races, c. 1860–62
Graphite and black chalk with stumping on beige-pink paper, pieced together
13 11/16 x 18 7/8 in. (34.7 x 48 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1401

In this early study, jockeys slowly ride their horses to the start of a race. Degas works out the complex overlapping of figures and the positioning of five sets of horses’ legs. Rethinking the placement of one, he enlarged his sheet with additional strips of paper and drew, in greater detail, a single leg below the main group.