Transfixed by speed and dynamic motion, Balla learned how to portray movement in his paintings by looking to photography. During prior decades, Étienne-Jules Marey had developed a photographic technique that captured motion through multiple exposures. His photographs of birds in flight directly influenced Balla’s painting, with its curved arcs evoking the rhythmic flapping of wings. Artists and scientists seeking to understand bodily movement would later use Marey’s method to capture humans in motion.
Gallery label from 2022