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Chariot Race

A work made of oil on cradled panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on cradled panel.




Jean Léon Gérôme (French, 1824–1904)

About this artwork

Jean-Léon Gérôme claimed that he based this almost cinematic depiction of a chariot race at the Circus Maximus stadium in Rome on archaeological research. The painting was first acquired by New York department store magnate A. T. Stewart, reflecting the popularity of Gérôme’s slickly finished and often dramatic work among wealthy American collectors in the 19th century. Its arrival in the United States made headlines and was reported by young writer Henry James, who described it as “a fierce mêlée of beasts, men, and wheels; the struggle and confusion are powerfully expressed, and the horses and chariots painted with that hard, consummate finish characteristic of the author.”


On View, Gallery 223


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Jean Léon Gérôme


Chariot Race


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on cradled panel


86.3 × 156 cm (34 × 61 7/16 in.); Framed: 108.6 × 174 cm (42 3/4 × 68 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number


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