Running (Galloping)

Object Details


Running (Galloping)


Eadweard J. Muybridge (American, born England, 1830 - 1904)




Palo Alto, California, United States, North America (Place created)


1878 to 1881


Iron salt process


18.9 × 22.7 cm (7 7/16 × 8 15/16 in.)

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As the story goes, in 1872 railroad magnate and ex-governor of California Leland Stanford made a bet with a fellow horseman regarding a horse's gallop. Contending that all four of a horse's feet are off the ground simultaneously at some point while galloping, Stanford hired Muybridge to prove it photographically.

Muybridge's first photographs of the horse were poorly exposed and thus inconclusive. After constructing a more efficient shutter and improving the speed of his film, he resumed his experiments with motion studies in 1877, but he was still producing only single images. Undaunted, he developed a system of first twelve and eventually twenty-four cameras, whose electro-magnetic shutter blades were opened by the stride of the animal tripping wires strung across the track. This series of twenty-four consecutive frames, which took less than one second to expose, was made after Muybridge had perfected his technique. Ultimately, Muybridge did prove that all four feet of a galloping horse were off the ground simultaneously.

Related Works
Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998
Education Resources

Education Resource




Why Photographs Are Made

In this lesson students learn about and discuss why photographs are made.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

Adult Learners

Single Class Lesson