"Candidates for the Horse Show" by John Martin Tracy

John Martin Tracy (1843–1893)
Candidates for the Horse Show
Oil on canvas
48 x 131¾ inches
Museum purchase; 1994.009

Candidates for the Horse Show is the last painting that John Martin Tracy worked on before his death in 1893. Critics praised Tracy for his ability to render animals in a lifelike manner full of character and expression. The focal point of the painting is the horses, their riders, and the black dog in the foreground, who parade off together to a competition. Tracy has demonstrated his technical ability through such details as the shine of each animal's coat and the varying poses that they take. The figures are also crowded together, creating a dynamic sense of interplay. Tracy was celebrated for this type of art, and he likely sold paintings to many wealthy sport and animal lovers.