Eadweard Muybridge was one of the world’s most influential and innovative photographers. He was well known for producing sequential images of moving animals and humans as artistic and scientific experimentations that changed the way we understand motion, and for revealing photographic capabilities critical to the development of early photography and cinema. These photographs were often presented with Muybridge’s invented zoopraxiscope, a mechanism that projected the stills as a moving image.
Animal Locomotion, Plate 136 illustrates, via two horizontal sequences, a nude male descending a staircase while supporting a basket on his right shoulder. In the first progression of 12 images, the male figure is viewed from the side and in the second series the figure faces the viewer. Each still shows the minute changes in the figure’s stance as he carefully balances the weight of the basket and moves down the stairs.