Eadweard Muybridge: The Human and Animal Locomotion Photographs

Eadweard Muybridge: The Human and Animal Locomotion Photographs

 

English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was a pioneer in visual studies of human and animal locomotion. In 1872, he famously helped settle a bet for former California governor Leland Stanford by providing photographic proof that when galloping, a horse momentarily lifts all of its legs off of the ground. Muybridge accomplished this feat by inventing a complex system of shutter releases that allowed him to capture freeze frames of the horse's gallop - proving conclusively, for the first time, that the horse does indeed lift all of its hooves in the air for a fraction of a second. For the next three decades, Muybridge continued his quest to fully catalog many an aspect of human and animal movement, shooting hundreds of nude or draped subjects engaged in various activities such as running, walking, boxing, fencing, and descending a staircase (the latter study inspired Marcel Duchamp's famous 1912 painting). This resplendent book traces the life and work of Muybridge, from his early thinking about anatomy and movement to his latest photographic experiments, and is copiously illustrated with his complete locomotion plates as well as biographical pictures and texts. The work of this icon of 19th century photography, still very relevant today, is most deserving of this long overdue XL tome that will delight art and photography fans as well as horse lovers.