EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904)

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 679 (GOAT RUNNING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 679 (GOAT RUNNING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 751 (KANGAROO JUMPING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 751 (KANGAROO JUMPING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 730 (TIGER WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 730 (TIGER WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 723 (LIONESS WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 723 (LIONESS WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 721 (LION WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 721 (LION WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 701 (GNU WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 701 (GNU WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 669 (OX WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 669 (OX WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 673 (PIG WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 673 (PIG WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 697 (ANTELOPE  TROTTING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 697 (ANTELOPE TROTTING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 696 (ELAND WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 696 (ELAND WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 573 (MAN PULLING HORSE BY REINS), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 573 (MAN PULLING HORSE BY REINS), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 567 (HORSE WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 567 (HORSE WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 682 (STAG RUNNING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 682 (STAG RUNNING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 692 (STAG RUNNING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 692 (STAG RUNNING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 713 (DOG TURNING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 713 (DOG TURNING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 744 (RACCOON WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 744 (RACCOON WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 699 (BISON WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 699 (BISON WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 722 (LION WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 722 (LION WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 729 (TIGER WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 729 (TIGER WALKING), 1887

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ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 733 (ELEPHANT WALKING), 1887 by EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE (1830-1904) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION: PLATE 733 (ELEPHANT WALKING), 1887

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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.

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.

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.

Muybridge quickly found another sponsor for his next body of work in the University of Pennsylvania. "Animal Locomotion" (1884 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.

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.

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.

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