Pole Vaulter by Eadweard Muybridge (1885)

The photograph titled “Pole Vaulter” was captured by artist Eadweard Muybridge in the year 1885. It is a black and white image that depicts the motion of an athlete during a pole vault attempt. The photograph is part of Muybridge’s studies of motion, for which he is well-known.

In “Pole Vaulter,” the athlete is shown inverted, having just cleared the bar during the vault. The pole is positioned vertically, anchored in the ground with the crossbar set at a significant height. The figure’s body is stretched out above the bar, and its form and muscles are accentuated by the lighting, suggesting the motion and energy involved in the athletic feat. The athlete’s physicality is clearly visible, as there is no clothing to obscure the view of the human form in motion, a common aspect of Muybridge’s work to study the mechanics of the human body. The background is nondescript, likely to ensure that the focus remains on the athlete’s form and movement.

Other Photographs from Eadweard Muybridge

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