Eadweard Muybridge

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Born Edward James Muggeridge in Kingston upon Thames in 1830, Eadweard Muybridge’s life spanned travel to multiple continents, numerous name changes and one scandalous murder trial. He was one of the great photographic thinkers and technical pioneers of all time, whose mind reached beyond still photography and anticipated the rise of the moving picture.

All works are available for purchase – please click on an image for further information.

Works

Animal Locomotion: Plate 11 (Nude Man Striding), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 89 (Nude Man Ascending Staircase), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 158 (Man Performing A High Jump), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 160 (Man Performing Long Jump), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 161 (Man Leaping), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 162 (Man Leaping Forwards), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 168 (Two Boys Performing A Leap Frog), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 293 (Nude Man Playing Cricket), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 294 (Nude Man Playing Tennis), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 301 (Nude Man Kicking Ball), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 322 (Man Lifting Dumbbells), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 355 (Man Pacing With Rifle), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 163 (Man Leaping Forwards), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 374 (Two Men Forging Iron), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 370 (Nude Planing Wood), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 380 (Man Sawing Wood), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 92 (Nude Woman Ascending Staircase), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 471 (Child Crawling), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 472 (Child Climbing Up Staircase), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 475 (Child Climbing Onto Chair), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 567 (Horse Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 573 (Man Pulling Horse By Reins), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 579 (Man Riding Horse), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 582 (Nude Man Riding Horse), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 590 (Nude Man Riding Horse), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 593 (Man Riding Cantering Horse), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 595 (Horse Pulling Gig With Rider), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 596 (Horse Cantering), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 634 (Man Riding Galloping Horse), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 658 (Mule Kicking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 669 (Ox Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 671 (Ox Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 672 (Ox Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 673 (Pig Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 760 (Cockatoo In Flight), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 772 (Ostrich Running), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 773 (Ostrich Running), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 676 (Goat Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 677 (Goat Pulling Child On Cart), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 679 (Goat Running), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 682 (Stag Running), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 692 (Stag Running), 1887

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Animal Locomotion: Plate 696 (Eland Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 697 (Antelope Trotting), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 699 (Bison Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 700 (Bison Galloping), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 701 (Gnu Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 706 (Dog Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 713 (Dog Turning), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 714 (Dog Alarmed By ‘Torpedo’), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 716 (Cat Running), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 718 (Cat Running), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 720 (Cat Running At Speed), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 722 (Lion Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 723 (Lioness Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 730 (Tiger Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 733 (Elephant Walking), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 735 (Two Elephants Walking), 1887

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Animal Locomotion: Plate 743 (Llama Galloping), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 744 (Raccoon Walking), 1887

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Animal Locomotion: Plate 748 (Baboon Walking On Four Legs), 1887

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Animal Locomotion: Plate 749 (Baboon Climbing), 1887

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Animal Locomotion: Plate 751 (Kangaroo Jumping), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 29 (Nude Man Carrying Two Pails), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 765 (Crow In Flight), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 755 (Pigeon In Flight), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Animal Locomotion: Plate 759 (Cockatoo In Flight), 1887

Eadweard Muybridge

Early Years

Muybridge emigrated to the United States as a young man and during his first decade in America he worked as a bookseller in both New York and San Francisco under the name of E. J. Muygridge, trading in photographs and engravings as well as publications. After sustaining serious head injuries in a stagecoach crash in Texas he returned to the UK for a five-year period where it is thought he took up photography. Upon his return to America, he reinvented himself as “Muybridge”, and quickly established a successful career as a landscape photographer, producing dramatic views of both Yosemite and San Francisco. His reputation as being an adventurous and progressive photographer led him to work as both a war and official government photographer, at this time he also referred to himself as “Helios” – the Greek god of the sun.

Horses in Motion

Then in 1872, racehorse owner and former Governor of California, Leland Standford, hired Muybridge to photograph his horse galloping in order to discover whether all four of the animal’s hooves were lifted off the ground at the same time, which was a popular debate at the time. In order to photograph the horse at speed, Muybridge engineered a system of multiple cameras with trip wire shutter releases to capture each stage of the movement. The project took Muybridge five years, which proved to be a turbulent period in the artist’s life. In 1874 he shot his young wife’s lover, when he discovered that the young drama critic might have fathered her baby. Muybridge went to trial but was subsequently acquitted of the crime as a “justifiable homicide”. After the trial, Muybridge set out on an expedition to Central America, where he took photographs and travelled for over a year, once more changing his name to Eduardo Santiago Muybridge. His wife died nine months after the trial, while Muybridge was still abroad. Her son, Florado Helios Muybridge, grew up in an orphanage.

After his travels, Muybridge returned to work for Standford at his Palo Alto racetrack. In the June of 1878, Muybridge’s photographs proved conclusively, for the very first time, that a galloping horse lifts all four hooves off the ground. The effects of Muybridge’s discovery were seismic. Newspapers, although not able to reproduce photographs, depicted the images as woodcuts, and Scientific American published drawings of the photographs. Artists, including Edgar Degas and Thomas Eakins began to reference the photographs in order to make their paintings closer to life. Muybridge toured Europe with his photographs, where his astonished audiences included William Gladstone, Alfred Lord Tennyson and the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII. However, when Leyland published The Horse in Motion, Muybridge’s role in the project was barely mentioned, and the relationship between the two immediately disintegrated.

Animal Locomotion

Muybridge quickly found another sponsor for his next body of work in the University of Pennsylvania. Animal Locomotion (1884 to 1887) was to become Muybridge’s most influential and enduring body of work. Funded entirely by the University of Pennsylvania, the project became a wide-ranging systematic study of movement, breaking new ground in terms of both science and the emerging art form of photography. Each plate in the series shows the same subject in sequential phases of one movement. Muybridge recorded varied forms of movement in a wide range of animals (mostly taken at Philadelphia zoo), from pigeons in flight to the subtleties of gait found in sloths, kangaroos and capybaras. Muybridge also documented human subjects engaged in walking, running, descending staircases as well as engaging in activities such as boxing, fencing, weight lifting and wrestling.

Camera Technologies

During his time at Pennsylvania, Muybridge greatly improved on the previous technical capabilities of his equipment, developing a clockwork motor to fire the camera shutters in sequence. This meant he could document rapid or subtle motion without having to depend on the subject’s movements to trigger a shutter. Muybridge extended his original set of cameras from 12 to 24, and set up an extra two separate batteries of cameras to capture rear and angled views. Muybridge took over 20,000 photographs in the three years he spent working on the project, ruthlessly editing the final selection down to 781 plates.

Influence, Inventions and Legacy

The photographs fundamentally changed understandings of movement Muybridge’s work from this period has contributed to the science of physiology and biomechanics. The imagery of Animal Locomotion had a profound impact on a huge range of subsequent artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon, Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly.

Muybridge also invented the first machine to project moving photographic images. His device the “zoopraxiscope”, could be used to animate entire sequences of photographs, anticipating the rise of cinema. He returned to Britain in 1894 as a hugely celebrated figure, lecturing extensively throughout the country. He died in Kingston upon Thames in 1904.

Animal Locomotion

News and Press

Eadweard Muybridge: Capturing Movement

18th Jul 2017

AnOther Magazine: Eadweard Muybridge: The Curious Forefather of Cinema

17th Jul 2017

Creative Review: Eadweard Muybridge: Animal Locomotion exhibition