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Creator of "Dinotopia"! This daily weblog by James Gurney is for illustrators, comic artists, plein-air painters, sketchers, animators, art students, and writers.
1. Galloping Horses

The way artists painted running horses changed forever once artists saw photos by pioneering photographer Edweard Muybridge.

Horses move their feet so quickly when they’re galloping that it’s impossible to isolate an individual phase of the action by observation alone. So it’s understandable that artists painted them with their legs held out hobby horse fashion. The painting above is by Alfred de Dreux from 1857.

Muybridge took his first fast-action photos in 1878, but they only became known in Paris in 1881, when Leland Stanford arrived with Muybridge and his lantern slides of running horses. 

According to Gerald Ackerman, “They were first shown in a sort of primitive movie machine, at Meissonier’s house, and Gérôme was among the guests, as were Degas, Bonnat, Moreau, and other artists.”

After that time, artists changed their way of seeing things forever. It's impossible to "unsee" something as visually compelling as Muybridge's photos. Today, the way we see and imagine the world is bound to be influenced by time lapse, slow motion, movie visual effects, and MRI photography, just to name a few ingredients of the visual stew we consume daily.  

From “The Life and Work of Jean-Leon Gerome
” by Gerald Ackerman.

14 Comments on Galloping Horses, last added: 9/21/2012
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