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Back Muybridge's Inspiration
Portrait, May Morning in the Park, by Thomas Eakins Animation of Edgington Trotting Portrait, May Morning in the Park, by Thomas Eakins
FAIRMAN ROGERS
MUYBRIDGE'S INSPIRATION
Eakins learned about experiments that a photographer, Eadweard Muybridge in California, was doing with motion photography. Muybridge set a bank of cameras along the racetrack and as the horse trotted by, the shutters were clicked on these cameras. A series of stop-action photographs were taken on these horses. And they discovered yes indeed that all four hooves do leave the ground, although not in the manner that artist and equestrians had thought in the past. ELIZABETH MILROY, Ph.D.
Art Historian, Wesleyan University
Well, obviously when you look at the painting with Muybridge's sequences in hand you can see how the horse's hooves closely matched the Muybridge shots. Eakins modified them slightly. perhaps based on some of his own and Rogers' photographs. Eakins had always used various tools to make his paintings. Photography just becomes one more tool in this. It's the tool that offers him the possibility of instantaneity. It's the one factor that he was not able to explore in one method and that is where he really uses photography most; to explore things that cannot be captured in a single instant in any other way. W. DOUGLASS PASCHALL
Research Associate and Coordinator, Thomas Eakins Projects, Philadelphia Museum of Art
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