There are multiple debates concerning the origins of film. Photographers in the nineteenth century were anxious to find a way to capture movement, almost from the moment they discovered the art of photography. It took less than half a century, and by the 1870s Eadweard Muybridge has already made significant advances.
Le Prince found his place in the history of cinema quite late (and long after his disappearance in Dijon on the 16th of September 1890). However, by now, he has earned the acknowledgement as the undisputed father of motion pictures. His Roundhay Garden Scene (1888) is (still) the earliest proof of filmmaking from one point of view.
The history of being able to view images in motion is nearly two millennia old. It started with Ting Huan’s chao hua chich kuan (the pipe which makes fantasies appear), an early version of the zoetrope developed in 180 AD under the Han Dynasty, and the camera obscura, dating from the 6th century.
Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince was a good provincial artist. Some of his paintings can still be seen in museums in France, UK and the USA. However, by now, they are often exhibited less for their artistic merit, than merely as a historical record to testify to the existence of the author.
It is often said that discoveries hardly ever start with individuals concerned in the subject matter. This is certainly true in the case of motion pictures. Eadweard Muybridge, a book-seller turned photographer, developed the first projected live-action images with the use of his zoopraxiscope.