AskDefine | Define cyclorama

Dictionary Definition

cyclorama n : a picture (or series of pictures) representing a continuous scene [syn: panorama, diorama]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. 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.
  2. A large curtain or wall, often concave, hung upstage, in a theatre.


Extensive Definition

For the album by Styx, see Cyclorama (album).
For the theatrical backdrop, see Cyclorama (theater)
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:
cyclorama in French: Cyclorama
cyclorama in Indonesian: Cyclorama
cyclorama in Hebrew: ציקלורמה
cyclorama in Russian: Циклорама

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abstract, abstraction, act drop, altarpiece, asbestos, asbestos board, backdrop, batten, block print, border, cloth, collage, color print, copy, cosmorama, coulisse, counterweight, curtain, curtain board, daub, decor, diorama, diptych, display, drop, drop curtain, engraving, exhibit, exhibition, exposition, fire curtain, flat, flipper, fresco, georama, hanging, icon, illumination, illustration, image, light show, likeness, miniature, montage, mosaic, mural, myriorama, pageant, pageantry, panorama, parade, phantasmagoria, photograph, picture, pomp, presentation, print, psychedelic show, rag, representation, reproduction, scene, scenery, screen, shifting scene, show, side scene, sight, spectacle, stage screw, stage show, stained glass window, stencil, still life, tab, tableau, tableau vivant, tapestry, teaser, tormentor, transformation, transformation scene, triptych, wall painting, wing, wingcut, woodcut
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