Rearing horse
Modeled late 1880s; cast 1919-21
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
Not on View

No. 04, Modèle cast.

Degas was the only member of the Impressionist circle to generate a major body of sculpture. He sculpted his figures from a soft modeling material chiefly composed of wax. He preserved these wax sculptures in his studio for many years, and they were found shortly after his death in 1917. It was left to Degas' heirs and executor to oversee the casting in bronze of these wax originals. At the Hébrard foundry in Paris, a special studio was built for the difficult and delicate work of reproducing these waxes in bronze. The seventy-one unique Simon modèles are the original bronzes cast from Degas' waxes, and served as the foundry models to reproduce all of the subsequent sets.

The "Rearing Horse" is a phenomenally realistic and beautiful interpretation of the animal's gesture. The thrust of its head, graceful sway of the neck and raised front legs convincingly convey movement and strength. The textured surface adds to the work's naturalism.


  • Artist Name: Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)
  • Title: Rearing horse
  • Date: Modeled late 1880s; cast 1919-21
  • Medium: Copper alloy
  • Dimensions: base: 1/8 x 9-11/16 x 7-11/16 in. (.3 x 24.6 x 19.5 cm); figure: 12-15/16 x 10-9/16 x 8-11/16 in. (32.9 x 26.8 x 22.1 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1977.02.42.S
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Adrien-Aurélien Hébrard, Paris, to his daughter;
Nelly Hébrard, Paris;
[Alex Reid & Lefevre, London, sold 17 January 1977 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Degas at the Races

  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC), 1998-04-12 to 1998-07-12

Original Bronze Foundry Models of Degas Sculpture on loan from the Norton Simon, Inc. Foundation

  • Fogg Art Museum, 1977-01-15 to

Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2017-11-09 to 2018-04-09
  • Campbell, Sara, Apollo, fig. 4 pp. 2, 13
  • The Lefevre Gallery, The Complete Sculptures of Degas, 1976, no. 44 p. 63
  • Sutton, Denys, Edgar Degas: Life and Work, 1986, no. 135 p. 159
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 140
  • Campbell, Sara et al., Degas in the Norton Simon Museum, 2009, Fig. 40 p. 252
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1397 p. 402
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Arabesque over the right leg, left arm in front Edgar Degas Modeled c. 1882-95; cast 1919-21
Arabesque over the right leg, left arm in line Edgar Degas Modeled 1885-90; cast 1919-21
Arabesque over the right leg, right hand near the ground, left arm outstretched (First arabesque penchée) Edgar Degas Modeled 1885-90; cast 1919-21

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