About This Artwork

Édouard Manet
French, 1832-1883

The Races at Longchamp, 1866

Oil on canvas
44.0 x 84.2 cm (17 5/16 x 33 1/8 in.)
Inscribed at lower right: Manet. / 1866

Potter Palmer Collection, 1922.424

With a characteristic focus on the pleasures of modern life, Édouard Manet depicted this scene of the racetrack in the Bois de Boulogne, on the western outskirts of Paris. The popularity of Longchamp, where races were run for the first time in 1857, signaled a general revival in French horse racing. This painting records the last moments of a race, as the horses rush past the finish line, indicated by the pole with a circular top. Unlike traditional sporting artists, who always showed races from the side, Manet dared to compose the scene so that the throng of horses and jockeys thunders straight toward the viewer.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Exposition des Oeuvres de Edouard Manet, January 1884, cat. 61.

New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exposition of Paintings by Edouard Manet, 1895, cat. 27.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition Painting and Sculpture, June 1-November 1, 1933, cat. 332.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition Painting and Sculpture, June 1-November 1, 1934, cat. 252.

New York, Wildenstein & Co., Edouard Manet: A Retrospective Loan Exhibition for the Benefit of French Hospitals, March-April, 1937, cat. 18 (ill.).

Cambridge, Mass., The Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University, The Horse: Its Significance in Art, April 20-May 2, 1938, cat. 14 (ill.).

Detroit Institute of Arts, The Age of Impressionism and Objective Realism, May-June, 1940, cat. 20

New York, Wildenstein & Co., From Paris to Sea Down the River Seine, January-February, 1943, cat. 18 (ill.).

Richmond, Va., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Sport and the Horse, April 1-May 15, 1960, cat. 58.

Sarasota, Florida, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Palmer Family Collections Exhibition, February 23-March 24, 1963, cat. 13.

Rochester, New York, The Rochester Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, In Focus: A Look at Realism in Art, December 28, 1964-January 31, 1965.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Manet, November 3-December 11, 1966, cat. 68 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, January 13-February 19, 1967, shown only in Chicago.

Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Trésors Impresionsistes de Museé de Chicago, June 27-August 31, 1980, cat. 2 (ill.).

Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, Manet and Modern Paris, December 5, 1982-March 6, 1983, cat. 43 (ill.).

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Manet, April 22-August 1, 1983, cat. 99 (ill.), traveled to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 10-November 27, 1983.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Manet as Printmaker: Works From the Permanent Collection, April 20-September 12, 1985, no cat.

Tokyo, Seibu Museum of Art, The Impressionist Tradition: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago, October 18- December 17, 1985, cat. 17 (ill.), traveled to Fukuoka Art Museum, January 5-February 2, 1986 and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, March 4-April 13, 1986.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago’s Dream a World’s Treasure: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1893-1993, November 1, 1993-January 9, 1994, no cat. no., pl. 11.

Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Origins of Impressionism, April 19-August 8, 1994, cat. 106 (ill.), traveled to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 19, 1994-January 8, 1995.

London, National Gallery, Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890, November 1, 2000-January 28, 2001, no cat. no. (ill.), traveled to Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, March 2-May20, 2001 and Williamstown, Mass., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, June 16-September 9, 2001.

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Edouard Manet und die Impressionisten, September 21, 2002-February 9, 2003, cat. 9 (ill.).

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 7 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Degas: At the Track, On the Stage," July 1, 2015-February 26, 2016, no cat.

Publication History

Emile Zola, Edouard Manet: Etude biographique et critique (Paris, 1867), p. 39, reprinted in Zola, Mes Haines (Paris, 1928).

Theodore Duret, Historie d’Edouard Manet et de son oeuvre (Paris, 1902), p. 228, no. 142.

Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst (April 1, 1910), p. 188.

Théodore Duret, Manet and the French Impressionists (Paris, 1910), p. 231, no. 142.

B. Haendcke, “Die historischen Grundlagen der Hell- und Freilichtmalerei,” Die Kunst 12, (January 1, 1911), p. 156 (ill).

Julius Meier-Graefe, Édouard Manet (Munich, 1912), p. 220, fig. 123.

Cicerone (October 1, 1913), p. 680.

Antonin Proust, “Erinnerungen an Édouard Manet,” Kunst und Künstler 11 (1913), p. 211 (ill.).

Jacques Emile Blanche, Quatre-Vingts Ans de peinture libre, 1800-1885 (Paris 1920), no. 17 (ill.)

M.C., “Manets in the Art Institute,” The Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 18 (1924), p. 49 (ill.).

J.-E. Blanche, Manet (Paris, 1925), pp. 41, 46, pl. 26.

Leon Rosenthal, “Manet et l’Espagne,” Gazette des Beaux Arts 12 (1925), pp. 210, 212.

E. Moreau-Nelaton, Manet raconté par lui-même vol. 2 (Paris, 1926), no. 61.

Thédore Duret, Histoire de Édouard Manet et de son oeuvre (Paris, 1926), p. 255, no. 142.

P. Fierens, “Édouard Manet,” L’Art et les Artistes 21 (October 1930), p. 11 (ill.).

A. Tabarant, Manet: Historie catalographique (Paris, 1931), p.136, no. 96.

R. H. Wilenski, French Painting, 1931, p. 245, plate 111a (ill.).

A. Tabarant, “Manet, (á propos de son Centennaire),” Revue de l’Art (Ancien et Moderne) 61 (1932), p. 19 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook to the Collection of the Art Institute (Chicago, 1932), pp. 56 (ill.), 162.

Paul Jamot and Georges Wildenstein, Manet (Paris, 1932), vol. 1, p. 143, no. 202 and vol. 2, p. 178, fig. 358.

Daniel Catton Rich, “The Spanish Background for Manet’s Early Work,” Parnassus, (February 1932), p. 4.

The Art Institute Chicago, A Brief Guide to the Collections (Chicago 1936), p. 60 (ill.).

Théodore Duret, Manet, translated by J.E. Crawford Flitch (New York, 1937), pl. 14 (ill.).

Alfred M. Frankfurter, “Manet: First American Retrospective,” The Art News (March 20, 1937), p. 24.

Magazine of Art 30 (1937), pp. 243, 244 (ill.).

A.P. McMahon, “Manet Fifty Years Later” Parnassus 9 (March 1937), p. 9 (ill.).

Alfred M. Frankfurter, “Manet: First American Retrospective,” the Art News (March 20, 1937), pp. 11-14, 24, 11(ill.).

Robert Rey, Manet (Paris, 1938), pp. 120 (ill.), 163, no. 120.

Detroit Institute of Arts Bulletin 19 (1940), p. 88.

G. Jedlicka, Édouard Manet (1941), pp. 163, 166, 403, ill. opp. p. 166.

H. Huth, “Impressionism Comes to America,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts ser. 6, 29 (1946), pp. 237, fig. 12, 242.

A. Tabarant, Manet et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1947), no. 101, pp. 101, 536 (ill.)

Michel Florisoone, Manet (Monaco, 1947), p. 29.

Lionello Venturi, Impressionists and Symbolists (London, 1950), p. 20, fig. 11.

J. Babelon, “La Expaña de Manet y el Manet de España,” Clavilleño 3, 13 (January-February 1952,), pp. 15-20, 16 (ill.).

J. L. Vaudoyer, Edouard Manet (Paris, 1955), pl. 18.

The Art Institute Chicago, A Brief Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1956), p. 60 (ill.).

John Richardson, Manet (London and New York, 1958), no. 25.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute: A Catalogue pf the Picture Collection (Chicago 1961), pp. 268-269, 281 (ill.).

Pierre Courthion, Edouard Manet (New York, 1962), pp. 86-87.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Comments on Selected Paintings in the Collection of The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago 1965), p. 34.

Frederick A. Sweet, “Great Chicago Collectors,” Apollo 134 (September 1966), pp. 171, 193, 191, fig. 5, 194.

Jean Harris, “Manet’s Race-track Paintings,” The Art Bulletin 48, 1 (March 1966), pp 78-82.

Anne Coffin Hanson, Edouard Manet (1966), pp. 86 cat. 68 (ill.), 87.

Phoebe Pool and Sandra Orienti, The Complete Paintings of Manet (New York, 1967), no. 87 (ill.).

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (New York, 1970), pp. 26 (ill.), 283.

Karl Berger, Das Tier in der Kunst (Leipzig, 1971), p. 20, no. 37 (ill.).

Alice Bellony- Rewald, The Lost World of Impressionism (London, 1976), p. 186 (ill.).

Benjamin Lowe, The Beauty of Sport: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry (New Jersey, 1977), fig. 16a.

Charles F. Stuckey and Naomi Maurer, The Art Institute of Chicago: Toulouse-Lautrec: Paintings (Chicago, 1979), p. 59, fig. 1.

Diane Kelder, Great Book of Impressionism (New York, 1980), p. 115 (ill.).

Theodore Reff, Manet and Modern Paris: One Hundred Paintings, Drawings, Prints, and Photographs by Manet and His Contemporaries (Washington, DC, National Gallery of Art, 1982), pl. 10, pp. 134, no. 43 (ill.).

Kathleen Adler, Manet (Oxford, 1986), p. 166, fig. 153.

Richard R. Brettell, French Impressionists (Chicago, 1987), pp. 62-65 (ill.), 119.

Robin Spencer, “Manet, Rosseti, London and Derby Days,” Burlington Magazine 134 (April 1991), pp. 228-233, 233 (ill.)

Vivien Perutz, Edouard Manet (London, 1993), p. 142, fig. 104.

Robert Snell, “ Seen Through a Temperament,” Time Literary Supplement (December 15, 2000), p. 16.

Gilles Néret, Edouard Manet 1832-1883: The First of the Moderns (Cologne, 2003), p. 37 (ill.).

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 7, pp. 36–37 (ill.).

Ownership History

Probably sold by the artist to Frederick Delius (1862-1924), 1877 for 1,000 francs [according to note in Manet’s account book, dated 1877, see Paris 1983]. Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York by 1895 [see New York 1895]; sold to Potter Palmer (died 1902), Chicago, 1896 [according to Rouart and Wildenstein 1975]; by descent in the Palmer family, Chicago; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1922.

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