[Bird in Flight]

Etienne-Jules Marey French

Not on view

One of the nineteenth century’s premier scientific investigators of the phenomenon of movement, Marey designed a process that could make multiple exposures on a single photographic plate in rapid succession. This innovation allowed him to capture the visible traces of an entire motion in regular intervals and to study that action at a level of detail not attainable by earlier photographic technologies. With this remarkable image of a bird in flight, Marey has produced a sequence of the individual moments that comprise a continuous movement, freezing for contemplation and study the fleeting contortions of the animal’s wings, not visible to the naked eye.

[Bird in Flight], Etienne-Jules Marey (French, 1830–1904), Albumen silver print from glass negative

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