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[Fencer]

Georges Demeny (French, 1850–1917)

Date:
1906
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 17.5 x 26.5 x 12.8 cm (6 7/8 x 10 7/16 in.) Mount: 20.1 x 28.7 cm (7 15/16 x 11 5/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2010
Accession Number:
2010.1
  • Description

    Demeny was the principal assistant to Etienne-Jules Marey (1831-1904), one of the nineteenth century's premier scientific investigators of the phenomenon of movement. In 1882, Demeny was instrumental in setting up Marey's "station physiologique" in the Bois de Boulogne--the studio where they carried out pioneering motion studies. Using a process that could make multiple exposures on a single photographic plate in rapid succession, Marey and Demeny could capture the visible traces of an entire motion in regular intervals and study that action at a level of detail not attainable by earlier photographic technologies.

    This picture was made in 1906, after Marey's death, while Demeny was professor of physiology at the National school of gymnastics and fencing at Joinville, which he established. A sport based in a repertoire of very precise, economical moves, fencing lent itself naturally to the kind of physiologically precise study of movement made newly available by Demeny's photography.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Various inscriptions in pencil on mount, verso OA: [see scan of print verso]

  • Provenance

    (sold, Piasa, Paris, June 5, 2009, lot 32); [Charles Isaacs Photographs, New York]

  • Notes

    Date inscribed on other negatives from the same series now held at the Institut National du Sport et de l'Education Physique.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
291656

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