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Muybridge Collotype "Trotting, Sulky, Katydid" 1887

Eadweard Muybridge (American born in England, 1830-1904), "Trotting, Sulky, Katydid" - plate 609 from "Animal Locomotion" series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1887. An endearing collotype of 24 freeze frame sequential photographs by Eadweard Muybridge, a legendary pioneer of motion photography best known for capturing animal and human movements deemed imperceptible to the human eye (see extended description below). This piece depicts the horse Katydid trotting, harnessed to sulky and driver before a row of 24 cameras placed precisely at a right angle to its path. To make these exposures, Muybridge used electromagnetic shutters that sequentially fired through a clock-driven electrical device. Size: image measures 7.5" L x 14.375" W (19 cm x 36.5 cm); 13.5" L x 19.5" W (34.3 cm x 49.5 cm) with margins; sheet measures 19" L x 24" W (48.3 cm x 61 cm)

Eadweard Muybridge is widely considered to be one of the most influential photographers in the study of motion. The English born Muybridge traveled to California around 1852. His early romantic views of the West gained him enough acclaim to be appointed the Director of Photographic Surveys for the United States government. Because the capturing of these grand western vistas required Muybridge to use huge glass collodion-treated plates, he was approached by ex-California governor Leland Stanford to photograph his beloved horse. The principal purpose was to settle a wager based on the positioning of a horse’s legs in the action of trotting, the question being whether all four hooves came off the ground at the same time. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Muybridge managed to set up a battery of cameras enabling him to record split second movements. His continuing work with animals and models in motion eventually led to his invention of the “zoopraxiscope,” a moving picture machine that showed a rapid succession of images. Throughout the 1880s, Muybridge lectured in America and abroad. With the help of Thomas Eakins, he found sponsors at the University of Pennsylvania and Muybridge continued his work there, taking thousands of locomotion studies of men, women, children, animals and birds. The results were published in a epic portfolio of 781 folio prints after his photographs entitled, "Animal Locomotion". Muybridge’s motion studies are considered to be a critical step in the evolution of photography to motion pictures.

Condition: Minor losses to upper and lower left corners of sheet, rough lower edge of sheet, and small tear to lower edge that do not interfere with image. Minor stains to margin and peripheries of sheet. Image is strong.

Provenance: private Denver, Colorado, USA collection

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