July 19, 2017
Mahonri M. Young (1877-1957), Alle Corse (After Degas), 20th century, charcoal, 10 9/16 x 12 9/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate.
Born on this day of July in 1834, famous Parisian artist Edgar Degas was particularly known for his Impressionistic paintings and sculptures. A student of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Degas was a talented, trained, and well-rounded artist who helped to found the Impressionists and their exhibitions, in which he participated. Fascinated with the subject of dance, Degas is most known for his many paintings and sculptures of female dancers. Most people, including those who do not know of Degas, recognize these dancer artworks when shown them because of their widespread circulation. Due to misogynistic elements found in his artwork and his anti-Semitism, Degas has become more criticized in the modern day, but the skill and beauty of his artworks, especially from the earlier days of his career, has always been recognized.
This artwork by Mahonri Young is a copy of a piece by Degas that shows, rather than his famous dancers, a group of jockeys on their horses at the races, as is indicated by the title. Degas’s skill in drawing human forms in a variety of intricate poses is shown by his depiction of the jockeys as well as the racehorses. Young’s copy of the piece is a beautiful homage to this great Impressionist artist.