Ascending Stairs by Eadweard Muybridge (1884-85)

The photograph “Ascending Stairs” by Eadweard Muybridge was created in the years 1884-85. It is a sequence of images capturing the motion of a man as he climbs up a set of stairs. The photograph is a prime example of Muybridge’s pioneering work in the study of motion and his early contributions to the development of motion pictures.

This particular photograph consists of twelve frames arranged in two rows of six. It shows a nude male figure from the side as he steps his way up a set of stairs. Each frame captures a different position of the figure’s limbs, providing a detailed and sequential view of human locomotion. The background is a grid that provides a reference for movement and position, which was typical of Muybridge’s motion study experiments.

The sequence captures various phases of movement, including the man lifting his leg to step onto the next stair, transferring his weight, and pushing himself up to progress to the following step. These images provided invaluable insights into the biomechanics of human movement at a time when such details could not be perceived with the naked eye due to the speed of human motion.

Other Photographs from Eadweard Muybridge

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