I was emailed a video of an incredible moving metal sculpture of a horse in motion… The sculpture actually MOVES!
But more of that later…. FIRST…
While reviewing the sculpture video (attached a few graphs down), it struck me (and I’m sure many others…) that this moving sculpture is very similar (and possibly a tribute to) Muybridge’s “Horse in Motion”.
MUYBRIDGE’S HORSE IN MOTION
We are all familiar with this very famous set of vintage woodcuts (made from photographs) of the moving horse.
However, we might not know the source… so I’ve provided it here from Wikipedia:
In 1872, the former governor of California, Leland Stanford, a businessman and race-horse owner, hired Muybridge for some photographic studies. He had taken a position on a popularly debated question of the day — whether all four feet of a horse were off the ground at the same time while trotting. The same question had arisen about the actions of horses during a gallop. The human eye could not break down the action at the quick gaits of the trot and gallop. Up until this time, most artists painted horses at a trot with one foot always on the ground; and at a full gallop with the front legs extended forward and the hind legs extended to the rear, and all feet off the ground. Stanford sided with the assertion of “unsupported transit” in the trot and gallop, and decided to have it proven scientifically. Stanford sought out Muybridge and hired him to settle the question.
Galloping horse, animated in 2006, using photos by Eadweard Muybridge.
In 1872, Muybridge settled Stanford’s question with a single photographic negative showing his Standardbred trotting horse Occident airborne at the trot. This negative was lost, but the image survives through woodcuts made at the time (the technology for printed reproductions of photographs was still being developed). He later did additional studies, as well as improving his camera for quicker shutter speed and faster film emulsions. By 1878, spurred on by Stanford to expand the experiments, Muybridge had successfully photographed a horse at a trot; lantern slides have survived of this later work. Scientific American was among the publications at the time that carried reports of Muybridge’s groundbreaking images.
Stanford also wanted a study of the horse at a gallop. Muybridge planned to take a series of photos on 15 June 1878 at Stanford’s Palo Alto Stock Farm (now the campus of Stanford University). He placed numerous large glass-plate cameras in a line along the edge of the track; the shutter of each was triggered by a thread as the horse passed (in later studies he used a clockwork device to set off the shutters and capture the images). The path was lined with cloth sheets to reflect as much light as possible. He copied the images in the form of silhouettes onto a disc to be viewed in a machine he had invented, which he called a zoopraxiscope. This device was later regarded as an early movie projector, and the process as an intermediate stage toward motion pictures or cinematography.
The study is called Sallie Gardner at a Gallop or The Horse in Motion; it shows images of the horse with all feet off the ground. This did not take place when the horse’s legs were extended to the front and back, as imagined by contemporary illustrators, but when its legs were collected beneath its body as it switched from “pulling” with the front legs to “pushing” with the back legs.
A VIDEO MADE OF MUYBRIDGE’S ‘THE HORSE IN MOTION’
My expedition into THE HORSE IN MOTION brought me to a very clever video that was created (editor unknown) by animating the wood cut photographs into motion.
NOW… HERE IS THE SCULPTURE VIDEO THAT STARTED THIS WHOLE EXERCISE FOR ME
This sculpture, by Adrian Landon at the Winter Equestrian Festival – MOVES! It is life-sized and it portrays the motion seen above. Very industrious and a beautiful tribute to a very ingenious (for the time) and famous photographic study.
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