A life in Motion – Muybridge
Francis Bacon was a great fan of the pioneer film photographer Eadward Muybridge b. 1883 – 1904 (strange way of spelling Edward I know, but I believe this is the original way of spelling his name in Anglo Saxon) Muybridge is famous for his study of motion in film.
Though born in Surry England, he moved to the USA when he was a young man and in 1868 he became world renown for his Yosemite Valley, California photo’s. He was famously hired by Leland Stanford, a railway magnate to prove that a trotting horse’s legs all leave the ground at the same point in time. The project was fraught with difficulties though: one of them being the lack of a fast shutter and the photographer having to be in court when he was tried for the murder of his wife’s lover. Though acquitted, he travelled around lot after this.
He did eventually prove Stanford’s theory (by developing a faster shutter) and a lot of line drawings were published, taken from his photographs. He gave many lectures, using a zoopraxiscope, which was a kind of magic lantern which projected the images onto a screen in rapid succession.
Apart from the animal plates, Muybridge is well-known for his study of the human form in motion. these were published in 1887 and called ‘Animal Locomotion – An Electro Photographic investigation of consecutive phases of Animal Movement.