Panorama - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Barker's Panorama. 'Description of a view of the North Coast of Spitzbergen'

Image of Barker's Panorama. 'Description of a view of the North Coast of Spitzbergen'

Exhibition catalogue (key) from the Panorama Leicester Sq. From drawings by Beechy on the 1818 expedition. Twelve pages with fold-out panorama. Published by Adland, 23 Bartholomew Close. London, 1819.

Robert Barker was the inventor of large panorama displays, the idea was patented in 1787. The first of his panoramas was exhibited in Scotland in 1788. In 1793 he opened the first purpose-built rotunda for the display of panoramas in Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square in London.

Panoramas were displayed on the inside of a cylindrical room and gave a 360 depiction of a scene. To increase the sense of reality the viewer was separated from the painting by a very wide gap, the top of the painting was obscured by a ceiling covering the viewing area, the bottom of the painting was also obscured. Later panorama displays incorporated sound and movement effects.

The main gallery of the Leicester Square Panorama was 90 feet in diameter, it was closed in 1863.

References & Notes:
Hyde, Panorama. Comment, Painted Panorama

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