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.
Organized as a grid of images, in three horizontal rows of four, Animal Locomotion, Plate 686 captures mere seconds of a large stag chasing after a doe in a wooded area. This vignette is another example of Muybridge’s acclaimed discovery that four-legged animals do indeed raise all four limbs off the ground when galloping, a theory he was able to prove in his photographic stills of horses in motion.