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Eadward Muybridge Animal Locomotion Plate 369 HelioGravure Black White Print For Sale
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Eadward Muybridge Animal Locomotion Plate 369 HelioGravure Black White Print

About

Eadward Muybridge is one of the most fascinating figures in the history of photography. Born in England, he moved to the US at the age of 20, becoming a successful bookseller in San Francisco in the decade that followed. En route to Europe for a visit, he suffered serious head injuries in a stagecoach Crash in Texas. He spent some years recovering in England and took up photography during this time. Returning to San Francisco in 1867, he worked as a quasi-itinerant photographer that focused on grand images of the Yosemite Valley. Upon exhibiting these works in 1868, he garnered much attention and became known worldwide. In 872, with funding from Leland Stanford (who would go on to found Stanford University), Muybridge turned his focus to capturing motion, particularly animal and human movement. Stanford, a race-horse owner, hired Muybridge to find an answer to a popularly debated question of the day (and to settle a bet for Mr. Standford): Is there a point during a horse's trot and gallop when all four feet are off the ground? The human eye could not break down the action at the quick gaits for the trot and gallop. Up until this time, most artists painted horses at a trot with one foot always on the ground; and at a full gallop with the front legs extended forward and the hind legs extended to the rear, and all feet off the ground. Stanford sided with the assertion of "unsupported transit" in the trot and gallop and decided to have it proven scientifically. Stanford sought Muybridge and hired him to settle the question. Muybridge began experimenting with an array of 12 cameras photographing a galloping horse in a sequence of shots. His initial efforts seemed to prove that Stanford was right, but he didn’t have the process perfected. Between 1878 and 1884, Muybridge perfected his method of photographing horses in motion, proving that they do have all four hooves off the ground during their running stride. In 1872, Muybridge settled Stanford's question with a single photographic negative showing his Standardbred trotting horse named Occident, also fully Airborne at the trot. This negative was lost, but the image survives through woodcuts made at the time (the technology for printed reproductions of photographs was still being developed). Muybridge later made additional studies, as well as improving his camera for quicker shutter speed and faster film emulsions. In 1874 he was acquitted of murdering his wife's lover on the grounds of justifiable homicide and he would spend the next year traveling and photographing Central America. The episode interrupted his photography studies, but not his relationship with Stanford, who had arranged for his criminal defense. By 1877, he had resumed work for Stanford. In the 1880s, the University of Pennsylvania sponsored Muybridge's research using banks of cameras to photograph people in a studio, and animals from the Philadelphia Zoo to study their movement. The human models, either entirely nude or very lightly clothed, were photographed against a measured grid background in a variety of action sequences, including walking up or down stairs, hammering on an anvil, carrying buckets of water, or throwing water over one another. Muybridge produced sequences showing farm, Industrial, construction, and household work, military maneuvers, and everyday activities. He also photographed athletic activities such as baseball, cricket, boxing, wrestling, discus throwing, and a ballet dancer performing. Showing a single-minded dedication to scientific accuracy and artistic composition, Muybridge himself posed nude for some of the photographic sequences, such as one showing him swinging a miner's pick. Between 1883 and 1886, Muybridge made more than 100,000 images, working obsessively in Philadelphia under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1884, the painter Thomas Eakins briefly worked alongside him, to learn more about the application of photography to the study of human and animal motion. Eakins later favored the use of multiple exposures superimposed on a single photographic negative to study motion more precisely, while Muybridge continued to use multiple cameras to produce separate images which could also be projected by his zoopraxiscope. In 1887, the photos were published as a massive portfolio, with 781 plates comprising 20,000 of the photographs, in a groundbreaking collection titled Animal Locomotion: an Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements. Muybridge's work contributed substantially to developments in the science of biomechanics and the mechanics of athletics. Some of his books are still published today and are used as references by artists, animators, and students of animal and human movement. After his work at the University of Pennsylvania, Muybridge traveled widely and gave numerous lectures and demonstrations of his still photography and Primitive motion picture sequences. At the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, Muybridge presented a series of lectures on the "Science of Animal Locomotion" in the Zoopraxographical Hall, built specifically for that purpose in the "Midway Plaisance" arm of the exposition. He used his zoopraxiscope to show his moving pictures to a paying public. The Hall was the first commercial movie theater.          

Details

  • Dimensions
    H 1 in. x W 14 in. x D 5.5 in.H 2.54 cm x W 35.56 cm x D 13.97 cm
  • Seller Location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Reference Number
    LU4190317008502
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About the Seller

5 / 5
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1stdibs seller since 2018
Typical response time: <1 hour
Located in Brooklyn, NY
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