cyclorama n : a picture (or series of pictures) representing a continuous scene [syn: panorama, diorama]
- A display consisting of a continuous series of pictures placed on the walls of a circular room so as to appear in natural perspective by a person standing in the middle.
- A large curtain or wall, often concave, hung upstage, in a theatre.
- diorama (1)
A cyclorama is a cylindrical panoramic painting designed to provide a viewer, standing in the middle of the cylinder, with a 360° view of the painting. The intended effect is that the viewer would feel as if they were standing in the center of a historic event or famous place — surrounded by the panoramic image.
Panoramas were first invented by Irishman Robert Barker who wanted to find a way to capture the panoramic view from a hill near Edinburgh, Scotland. He subsequently opened his first cyclorama in Edinburgh in 1787.
Cycloramas were very popular in the late 19th century. The most popular traveled from city to city to provide local entertainment — much like a modern movie. As the viewers stood in the center of the painting, there would often be music and a narrator telling the story of the event depicted. Sometimes dioramas were constructed in the foreground to provide additional realism to the cyclorama.
Many circular and hexagonal shaped buildings were constructed in almost every major US and European city to provide a viewing space for the cycloramas.
Hundreds of cycloramas were produced during their heyday. However, only about thirty survive today.
Some notable cycloramas still in existence today include:
- Atlanta Cyclorama, depicting the Battle of Atlanta during the American Civil War is on display in Atlanta
- Behalt Cyclorama, depicting the heritage of the Amish and Mennonite people
- Gettysburg Cyclorama, depicting the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War is displayed at Gettysburg National Military Park
- Gettysburg Cyclorama, an earlier cyclorama depicting the Battle of Gettysburg was discovered in 1965 and donated to Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.
- Cyclorama of Jerusalem, depicting Jesus Christ's Crucifixion is on display in Saint Anne de Beaupre, Quebec, Canada
- Waterloo Cyclorama, depicting the Battle of Waterloo is displayed in Belgium near the city of Waterloo
- Pleven Panorama, depicting the Siege of Pleven in 1878, in Pleven, Bulgaria
- Panorama Mesdag, depicting the Dutch village of Scheveningen in 1881, displayed in The Hague, The Netherlands
- There is a cyclorama painting by the artist, John Vanderlyn, of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles on display in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
cyclorama in French: Cyclorama
cyclorama in Indonesian: Cyclorama
cyclorama in Hebrew: ציקלורמה
cyclorama in Russian: Циклорама
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