|A cutaway view of Barker's Leicester Square|
Panorama, London, 1789
Basically, what they were were round postcards. The viewer could hold one, turning it as he mentally turned 360 degrees, picking out landmarks great and small, each numbered, with a corresponding list of names on the back. Rural areas were accompanied on the back by comments about life in the country. Taking a cue from this development, there later evolved larger panoramas on paper or oil cloth of all the great cities of Europe. By mid-century, these panoramas were replaced by dioramas, placing the viewer in the middle of the circle, which got ever larger and larger, eventually involving specially designed buildings, a trend which reached its zenith after the civil war when 360 degree representations of famous battles were painted. These were often accompanied by skylights and three-dimensional foregrounds which blended the real with illusional paintings.
|Panoramic camera view of downtown Philadelphia, 1913|
|In China, the world's largest panorama, Splendid Central Plains in Zhengzhou |
(Henan Province) opened in April, 2011, covering 3520 square meters
(approx. 33,000 square feet).