For his studies of animal and human locomotion, Eadweard Muybridge created photographic sequences from negatives shot with an array of fast-exposure cameras triggered in a series. One such sequence, showing the thoroughbred race horse Bouquet, is in the collection of the Henry Art Gallery. Muybridge realized that these sequences, if shown in order at an appropriate speed and then projected, would create for a viewer the illusion of continuous motion. To achieve this effect he designed a mechanism he called a “zoopraxiscope,” which could project images printed photographically in sequence on a glass plate. When the plate was spun at the correct speed, the projection did indeed create the illusion of realistic motion. Because of certain technical complications, Muybridge could not use his actual motion-study photographs on the projection discs, but instead used photographs of drawings based on the study images. Although his projections were technically what we would now regard as animations, as opposed to live-action cinematography, Muybridge is rightfully ranked among the inventors of motion picture technology. 

Misa Jeffereis

(Eadweard Muybridge: Gallop; thoroughbred bay horse, Bouquet)


Eadweard Muybridge (U.S., b. England, 1830–1904)

Gallop; thoroughbred bay horse, Bouquet. 1884–1885, published 1887


7 15/16 x 14 5/8 in. image size

Henry Art Gallery, Monsen Study Collection of Photography, gift of Joseph and Elaine Monsen, 79.124