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Gallery Text

In 1872, the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904) revolutionized perceptions of motion and its representation by developing a method of stop-action photography wherein the movement of a horse could be analyzed and captured in a photograph. Degas was certainly aware of Muybridge’s studies of humans and animals in motion and, after the publication of Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion in 1887, made a number of models of horses that reflect the photographer’s work. This sculpture, in which the horse is trotting with its legs in mid-air, is one of three studies Degas made that illustrate Muybridge’s most revelatory observation: that a horse in motion does at times have all four hooves off the ground.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1951.79
People
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, French (Paris, France 1834 - 1917 Paris, France)
Title
Horse Trotting, the Feet Not Touching the Ground
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture
Date
c. 1881-1890
Culture
French
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/228661
Location
Level 1, Room 1220, European Art, 19th–20th century, Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
23.5 x 28.9 x 12.4 cm (9 1/4 x 11 3/8 x 4 7/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: proper l. f. of top of base: Degas
  • stamp: Proper right rear corner of top of base, stamped: CIRE / PERDUE / A A HEBRARD
  • inscription: proper right rear corner of top of base, stamped: 49 / B
  • label: removed from bottom of base, ball-point pen on masking tape, handwritten: [conservation file notes tape stuck to bottom: MFA #69-58]
Provenance
Maurice Wertheim, New York (by 1944); bequest to Fogg Art Museum, 1951.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest from the Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
Accession Year
1951
Object Number
1951.79
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
THIS WORK HAS SIGNIFICANT LOAN RESTRICTIONS BY THE TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION TO THE HARVARD ART MUSEUMS.
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Publication History

French Painting since 1870, lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), p. 70; repr. p. 71

The Maurice Wertheim Catalogue: Modern French Art-- Monet to Picasso, exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC, 1960), p. 70; repr. p. 71

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, exh. cat., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1962), p. 64, pl. 29

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, exh. cat., Maine State Museum (Augusta, ME, 1972), no. 6, repr.

Vivien Raynor, "Art: Impressionist Show at the I.B.M. Gallery" [review], The New York Times (New York, NY, April 26, 1985), p. C24

John O'Brian, Degas to Matisse: the Maurice Wertheim Collection, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Fogg Art Museum (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, 1988), no. 37, pp. 131-132, repr. p. 132

Christine Temin, "Degas Show at Harvard gives Insight into Cuno", Chicago Tribune (September 4 2005)

Marjorie B. Cohn and Jean Sutherland Boggs, Degas at Harvard, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge and New Haven, 2005), p. 60; no. 14, p. 100; repr. in b/w as fig. 50, p. 101

Elizabeth M. Rudy, "Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums", Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Summer 2014), Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 301-6

Exhibition History

French Painting since 1870 lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1946 - 09/07/1946; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 07/01/1953 - 09/13/1953

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 07/01/1952 - 09/14/1952

French Paintings Since 1870 from the Maurice Wertheim Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/01/1953 - 09/30/1953

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 06/10/1958 - 08/31/1958

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Modern French Art--Monet to Picasso, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 06/17/1960 - 09/04/1960

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 06/13/1962 - 09/02/1962

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 06/20/1963 - 09/01/1963

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 06/24/1965 - 09/07/1965

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 09/03/1968 - 09/22/1968

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Maine State Museum, Augusta, 06/01/1972 - 09/01/1972

Manet to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York, 04/09/1985 - 05/25/1985

Degas at Harvard, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/01/2005 - 11/27/2005

Re-View: S427 Impressionist & Postimpressionist Art, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/02/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 1220 Wertheim, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu