Muybridge: a History of Motion

Topics: Photography, Leland Stanford, Eadweard Muybridge Pages: 4 (1167 words) Published: April 5, 2013
Muybridge: A History of Motion

The image I chose to research was “Horse in Motion”, by Eadweard Muybridge. In this paper I will discuss the image in its entirety, give some background information that is important to understanding the image and why it was created, use the information I have been given to interpret the image, and then make a final evaluation of the image.

First I will discuss the image in order to provide you, the reader with a clear visual image of Muybridge’s “Horse in Motion”. The image is a 12 segment photograph, with each segment containing a horse and rider. All 12 segments of the photograph are displayed in chorological order on one sheet of photograph paper. The image is in black and white, and has a fairly high contrast. It is hard to make out detail in the images; however there is a clear outline of a horse and rider. Each segment has an assignment number 1-12 that can be seen in the lower left hand corner of the image. The pictures are tied together through the repetition of the background, a very scientific looking grid, complete with numerals and corresponding lines. The photographs appear to have been taken while the horse was in a running motion. We know this because of the succession of the images. The horse and the rider are centered in all the images making them all fairly symmetrical. There is an equal vertical and horizontal weight in each segment. The horse providing the horizontal weight due the forward motion, and the rider providing the vertical weight due to the up and down motion. In some of the images you can see a shadow under the horse. Finally in some of the images you can also see the dust that is being created due to the motion of the horse. [1]

Now that we have a visual understanding of the image, it is important to understand some background information. Muybridge was commissioned in 1878 by the former governor of

1. Muybridge, Eadweard “Horse in Motion” ,...

Bibliography: Balla, Giacomo. “Dynamism of Dog on a Leash” Recovered 4-18-2011
Mitchell, Leslie (May/June 2001) “The Man Who Stopped Time”, Stanford Magazine.
Recovered 4-18-2011
Muybridge, Eadweard “Horse in Motion” , Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs.
Recovered 4-18-2011
Williams, Alan Larson. 1992. “Republic of Images: A History of French Filmmaking” Harvard
University Press. Recovered 4-18-2011
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