The Human Figure in Motion

New York: Dover Publications, Inc.. 1955.

4to. 270x195mm. pp. [xviii], 95 double page plates of men, 85 double page plates of men and 14 double page plates of children. Blue cloth, lettered in gilt to spine. Tear of c1cm to top of hinge on upper cover and lacking dust jacket but otherwise a very good copy. Introductory essay by Professor Robert Taft. This copy of the Dover Edition of Muybridge's celebrated and exhaustive study of the movement of the human body was owned by Francis Bacon. Like many artists, Bacon was hugely influenced by Muybridge's detailed images of the human figure as it moves and changes its positions while walking, running, jumping or just sitting. Attached by paperclip to the front free endpaper is a note with the address, written in Bacon's hand, "Chez Peppiatt, 14 Rue de Birague, Tel. 887-35-37". Michael Peppiatt was one of Bacon's best friends and he had bought this flat in Paris for Bacon to use as a studio. This book was given by Bacon to another friend, the artist Clive Barker who made the life mask of Bacon. Barker has confirmed that the markings in this copy were made by Bacon. On several images, Bacon has drawn vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines in blue biro in the manner of classical drawing technique to divide the image into sections so as enable the transfer of the image to a larger support. Bacon clearly owned many copies of Muybridge's book. His studios were famously messy and visitors describe reproductions of Muybridge's photographs lying crumpled and paint stained on the floor. This copy is in remarkably good condition given its provenance and we assume that Bacon kept this clean version for research while using other copies of the photographs in his studio.

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