Edouard Manet was a painter born in the 17th century well-known for his impressionist work which was very rarely seen at the time. Women at the Races or Champs de Courses was a piece painted by Manet in his late 30's in 1865. Just like the majority of Manet's other pieces, 'Women at the Races' was an impressionist piece. As well as this, it was an oil painting which was Manet's primary medium. This painting now resides in Cincinnati Art Museum which is Cincinnati, Ohio in the United States.
This painting is based in Paris. It is aptly named as it pictures two women at the races. These women are dressed in extravagant blue and yellow garments and look to be relatively rich. Peeking out in the background you can see a carriage wheel. You can also see the women in yellow is holding something in her hand. Unfortunately, it is hard to make out what she is holding. This painting may seem rather simple and while it is a simple painting, it does have a significant meaning behind it. This painting was meant to represent the rich and sophisticated culture and atmosphere of Paris. The women dressed in the sophisticated style reflecting the culture and the ever-changing fashion at the time.
Manet may have wanted to reflect this lifestyle through painting as he, himself grew up in an extremely rich family and was surrounded by this 'culture' and lifestyle whether he wanted to experience it or not. Other famous artists who were drawn into the pomp and ceremony of race day included Edgar Degas, who created At the Races and Racehorses in a Landscape.
The bright colours may represent how everyone tried to be the most stylish and most-luxurious and would put down anyone who wasn't as extravagant. People used anyway they could to seem more upper-class and high-class than everyone else. You can see this as the women are depicted at a horse-racing event, they may not even care for this but people in this culture would do anything to look better than one another and fight their way to the top.