May 11, 2015
Aug 23, 2004
May 11, 2015
Aug 13, 2008
May 11, 2015

The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse)

The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse)

c. 1896–1908

Albert Pinkham Ryder

(American, 1847–1917)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 84.5 x 102 x 6.5 cm (33 1/4 x 40 3/16 x 2 9/16 in.); Unframed: 70.5 x 90 cm (27 3/4 x 35 7/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1928.8

Did you know?

Counterclockwise horse racing in the United States was not standardized until the 1920s.

Description

Ryder’s subject was inspired by a horse race that took place in New York during 1888. One of the artist’s friends wagered $500 on the race and then committed suicide after the horse lost. Medieval symbolism infuses the composition: death appears as a skeleton on horseback holding a scythe with which he cuts down the living, while a snake-a sign of temptation and evil-slithers in the foreground. An intense man, Ryder worked on the painting for several years and was deeply reluctant to part with it.

Video

Inspiration from Tragedy
Symbolism on the Race Track
The Artist, Albert Pinkham Ryder
Ryder's Experiments with Paint
See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.