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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Artist Marcel Duchamp's Inspiration for the Masterpiece NUDE DESCENDING STAIRCASE No.2 Was Stroboscopic Photography.

Duchamp depicts motion by successive superimposed images, similar to stroboscopic motion photography. Duchamp also recognized the influence of the stop-motion photography of Étienne-Jules Marey, particularly Muybridge's Woman Walking Downstairs from his 1887 picture series, published as The Human Figure in Motion.

Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2  is one of my favourite paintings . I have a large print of it hanging in my bedroom. When I first saw it I was struck by the sense of movement and graphic linear quality. At the time I didn't realize it was photography that inspired Duchamp to make this masterpiece. 

Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (French: Nu descendant un escalier n° 2)  1912

Étienne-Jules Marey
Étienne-Jules Marey

  The picture above was taken by Eliot Elisofon, Marcel Duchamp Descending a Staircase, 1952. I think that these two side by side really show what Duchamp was attempting to achieve in his painting style. He was trying to show a figure moving through time in a still painting

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