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Man Bicycling

A work made of gelatin silver lantern slide (chronophotograph).
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gelatin silver lantern slide (chronophotograph).




Etienne-Jules Marey
French, 1830–1904

About this artwork

Physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey’s lifelong fascination with bodily movement led him to develop what he called “chronophotography”—meaning “photography of time”—a process that may have influenced the locomotion studies of Eadweard Muybridge, which are generally better known. To create his chronophotographs, Marey modified an ordinary camera by placing a rotating metal disk with multiple slots cut at regular intervals behind the lens and leaving the lens open. As the subject moved in front of a dark background, the disk acted as a shutter, exposing a sequence of images on a single photographic plate. As a member of the Académie Nationale de Médicine, Marey likely made this view of a bicyclist as part of a campaign to develop sports attire that would maximize comfort and minimize fatigue. Cubist, Futurist, and Dada artists all looked to Marey’s work as they attempted to picture the interdependence of space and time formulated by Albert Einstein.


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Photography and Media


Etienne Jules Marey


Man Bicycling


France (Artist's nationality)


Made 1890–1899


Gelatin silver lantern slide (chronophotograph)


8.5 × 10 cm

Credit Line

Gift of Robert A. Taub

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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