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For the classical album Cyclorama, see Jonathan Goldstein; For the rock album Cyclorama by Styx
Styx (band)
Styx is an American rock band that became famous for its albums from the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Chicago band is known for melding the style of prog-rock with the power of hard rock guitar, strong ballads, and elements of American musical theater....

, see Cyclorama (album)
Cyclorama (album)
Cyclorama is the fourteenth studio album by Styx, released in. This was the first studio album with Lawrence Gowan, following the departure of group co-founder Dennis DeYoung in 1999. It was also the only album released by the Lawrence Gowan/Tommy Shaw/James Young/Glen Burtnik/Todd Sucherman...

; for the theatrical backdrop, see Cyclorama (theater)
Cyclorama (theater)
A cyclorama is a large curtain or wall, often concave, positioned at the back of the stage area. It was popularized in the German theater of the 19th century and continues in common usage today in theaters throughout the world...

A cyclorama is a panoramic painting on the inside of a cylindrical platform, designed to provide a viewer standing in the middle of the cylinder with a 360° view of the painting. The intended effect is to make a viewer, surrounded by the panoramic image, feel as if they were standing in the midst of a historic event or famous place.

"Cyclorama" can also refer to the building designed to show the panoramic painting (pictured).


Panoramas were invented by Irishman Robert Barker
Robert Barker
Robert Barker may refer to:*Robert Barker * Bob Barker , game show host* Robert Barker , English footballer who played for England* Robert Barker , English printer...

, who wanted to find a way to capture the panoramic view from Calton Hill in central Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. He subsequently opened his first cyclorama building 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. Circular and hexagonal-shaped buildings were constructed in almost every major US and European city to provide a viewing space for the cycloramas. For example, a 360° depiction of the land and naval battles of Vicksburg was completed and first exhibited in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. This work by Lucien-Pierre Sergent
Lucien-Pierre Sergent
Lucien-Pierre Sergent was a French academic painter. He was known for his military art.-Early life:Sergent was born in 1849 at Massy in the Seine-et-Oise department....

 and Joseph Bertrand traveled to New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 and San Francisco and Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

. Hundreds of cycloramas were produced; however, only about thirty survive.

An extension of this concept into motion pictures was pioneered with the invention of the Cinéorama
Cinéorama was an early film experiment and amusement ride at the 1900 Paris Exposition devised by Raoul Grimoin-Sanson, that simulated a ride in a hot air balloon over Paris...

 that debuted at the 1900 Paris Exposition
Exposition Universelle (1900)
The Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a world's fair held in Paris, France, from April 15 to November 12, 1900, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next...

. These evolved into such formats as IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 and Circle-Vision 360°
Circle-Vision 360°
Circle-Vision 360° is a film technique, refined by The Walt Disney Company, that uses nine cameras for nine huge screens arranged in a circle. The cameras are usually mounted on top of an automobile for scenes through cities and highways, while films such as The Timekeeper use a static camera and...

 as can be seen Epcot
Epcot is a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida. The park is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely international culture and technological innovation. The second park built at the resort, it opened on October 1, 1982 and was initially named...

's Reflections of China
Reflections of China
Reflections of China is a Circle-Vision 360° movie which is located in the China pavilion of the World Showcase in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. The show is narrated by an actor playing Li Bai, an ancient Chinese poet, who takes the viewer on a tour of the Chinese countryside and historical...


Ben-Hur dramatisation

The 1899 dramatisation
Ben-Hur (play)
Ben Hur was an 1899 dramatization of the 1880 novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. It was dramatized by William W. Young and produced by Marc Klaw and A. L. Erlanger. Inspired by the popular equestrian dramas of nineteenth century London, the production was notable for its elaborate...

 of the novel Ben Hur was a Broadway smash hit. The main spectacle was the use of a live chariot race using real horses and real chariots set against a cyclorama. It ran for 21 years, and was seen by over 20 million people. The Era's
The Era (newspaper)
The Era was a British weekly paper, published from 1838 to 1939. Originally a general newspaper, it became noted for its sports coverage, and later for its theatrical content.-History:...

 drama critic detailed how it was achieved by "four great cradles, 20ft in length and 14ft wide, which are movable back and front on railways". The horses galloped full-pelt towards the audience, secured by invisible steel cable traces and running on treadmills. Electric rubber rollers spun the chariot wheels. A vast cyclorama backdrop revolved in the opposite direction to create an illusion of massive speed, and fans created clouds of dust. The critic for The Illustrated London News described it as "a marvel of stage-illusion" that was "memorable beyond all else". The Sketch's
The Sketch
The Sketch was a British illustrated newspaper weekly, which focused on high society and the aristocracy. It ran for 2,989 issues between February 1, 1893 and June 17, 1959. It was published by the Illustrated London News Company and was primarily a society magazine with regular features on royalty...

 critic called it "thrilling and realistic ... enough to make the fortune of any play" and noted that "the stage, which has to bear 30 tons' weight of chariots and horses, besides huge crowds, has had to be expressly strengthened and shored up". It went on to inspire the multi-oscar winning 1959 film adaptation of Ben Hur
Ben-Hur (1959 film)
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the third film adaptation of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The screenplay was written by Karl Tunberg, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Fry. The score was composed by...

, starring Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

 - featuring the key live chariot race.

Surviving examples

Some notable cycloramas still in existence include:
  • Borodino Panorama, depicting the Battle of Borodino
    Battle of Borodino
    The Battle of Borodino , fought on September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia and all Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties...

     between Napoleon I of France
    Napoleon I of France
    Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

     and a Russian Army outside Moscow in 1812. On display in Moscow. 115 metres long by 15 metres high.
  • Pleven Panorama
    Pleven Panorama
    Pleven Epopee 1877, more commonly known as Pleven Panorama, is a panorama located in Pleven, Bulgaria, that depicts the events of the Russian-Turkish War of 1877–78, specifically the five-month Siege of Plevna which made the city internationally famous and which contributed to the Liberation of...

    , depicting the Siege of Plevna in 1878, in Pleven
    Pleven is the seventh most populous city in Bulgaria. Located in the northern part of the country, it is the administrative centre of Pleven Province, as well as of the subordinate Pleven municipality...

    , Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

     - also known as the panorama with the world's biggest canvas.
  • The Racławice Panorama, depicting the Battle of Racławice during the Kościuszko Uprising
    Kosciuszko Uprising
    The Kościuszko Uprising was an uprising against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia led by Tadeusz Kościuszko in Poland, Belarus and Lithuania in 1794...

     is on display in Wrocław, Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

    . 115 metres long by 15 metres high.
  • Atlanta Cyclorama
    Atlanta Cyclorama
    The Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum is a civil war museum located in Atlanta, its most noted attraction being the Atlanta Cyclorama, a cylindrical panoramic painting of the American Civil War Battle of Atlanta...

    , depicting the Battle of Atlanta
    Battle of Atlanta
    The Battle of Atlanta was a battle of the Atlanta Campaign fought during the American Civil War on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Continuing their summer campaign to seize the important rail and supply center of Atlanta, Union forces commanded by William T. Sherman overwhelmed...

     during the American Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

     is on display in Atlanta
  • Behalt Cyclorama
    Behalt Cyclorama
    Behalt, meaning "to keep or remember", is a 10' x 265' cyclorama by Heinz Gaugel. It illustrates the heritage of the Amish and Mennonite people from the Anabaptist beginning in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1525 to the present day...

    , depicting the heritage of the Amish
    The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

     and Mennonite
    The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

  • Gettysburg Cyclorama
    Gettysburg Cyclorama
    The Battle of Gettysburg, also known as the Gettysburg Cyclorama, is a cyclorama painting by the French artist Paul Philippoteaux depicting "Pickett's Charge", the climactic Confederate attack on the Union forces during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863...

    , depicting the Battle of Gettysburg
    Battle of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg , was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War, it is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac...

     during the U.S. Civil War is displayed at Gettysburg National Military Park
    Gettysburg National Military Park
    The Gettysburg National Military Park is an administrative unit of the National Park Service's northeast region and a subunit of federal properties of Adams County, Pennsylvania, with the same name, including the Gettysburg National Cemetery...

    . The version on display is the second of four known versions of this painting, and one of only two extant. The original was temporarily lost from 1933–1965, and has not been on public display since 1933. The second version, originally created for a Boston exhibition, is now on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

  • Cyclorama of Jerusalem
    Cyclorama of Jerusalem
    The Cyclorama of Jerusalem is located in Ste. Anne de Beaupré, Quebec near the shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupré. It is a cyclorama, a circular painting, of the Crucifixion of Jesus, showing what the city might have looked like at the time of his death. The cyclorama has been on display since 1895...

    , depicting Jesus Christ's Crucifixion is on display in Saint Anne de Beaupre, Quebec
    Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

    , Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • Waterloo Cyclorama, depicting the Battle of Waterloo
    Battle of Waterloo
    The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

     is displayed in Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     near the city of Waterloo
    Waterloo, Belgium
    Waterloo is a Walloon municipality located in the province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium. On December 31, 2009, Waterloo had a total population of 29,573. The total area is 21.03 km² which gives a population density of 1,407 inhabitants per km²...

  • 1973 October War panorama in Cairo
    Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

    , Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     depicting the attack on the Bar Lev Line
    Bar Lev Line
    The Bar Lev Line was a chain of fortifications built by Israel along the eastern coast of the Suez Canal after it captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War.-Overview:...

     and the subsequent fighting during the Yom Kippur/1973 October War
    Yom Kippur War
    The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

     between Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

     and Egypt.
  • The Riesenrundgemälde (giant circular painting) in Innsbruck
    - Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

    , Austria, shows the Battles of Bergisel
    Battles of Bergisel
    The Battles of Bergisel were four battles fought between the forces of Emperor Napoleon I of France and the Kingdom of Bavaria against Tyrolean militiamen and a contingent of Austrian regular soldiers at the Bergisel hill near Innsbruck...

    , still in its original building.
  • Panorama Mesdag
    Panorama Mesdag
    Panorama Mesdag is a panorama by Hendrik Willem Mesdag. Housed in a purpose-built museum in The Hague, the panorama is a cylindrical painting more than 14 metres high and about 40 metres in diameter...

    , depicting the Dutch village of Scheveningen in 1881, displayed in The Hague
    The Hague
    The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

    , Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

  • Palace and Gardens of Versailles
    Palace of Versailles
    The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

     cyclorama, painted by John Vanderlyn
    John Vanderlyn
    John Vanderlyn was an American neoclassicist painter.-Biography:Vanderlyn was born at Kingston, New York. He was employed by a print-seller in New York, and was first instructed in art by Archibald Robinson , a Scotsman who was afterwards one of the directors of the American Academy of the Fine Arts...

     on display in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

     in New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

  • Bunker Hill Cyclorama, depicting the Battle of Bunker Hill
    Battle of Bunker Hill
    The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, mostly on and around Breed's Hill, during the Siege of Boston early in the American Revolutionary War...

    , is displayed at the Bunker Hill museum.
  • Arrival of the Hungarians
    Arrival of the Hungarians
    The Arrival of the Hungarians is a large cyclorama - a circular panoramic painting - by Hungarian painter Árpád Feszty and his assistants, depicting the arrival of the Hungarians to the Carpathian Basin in 895. It was completed in 1894 for the 1000th anniversary of the event...

     (also called Feszty Panorama), by Árpád Feszty
    Árpád Feszty
    Árpád Feszty was a Hungarian painter.He was born in the town of Ógyalla . His ancestors were German settlers . He was the fifth child of Silvester Rehrenbeck , an affluent landowner at Ógyalla, and his wife Jozefa...

     et al., completed in 1894. It was painted to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the 895 AD conquest of the Carpathian Basin by the Hungarians. It is displayed at the National Historical Memorial Park
    National Historical Memorial Park of Ópusztaszer
    The National Historical Memorial Park is a memorial park and open-air museum of Hungarian history in Ópusztaszer, Hungary. It was established in 1982 and is most famous for being the location of the Feszty Panorama, a cyclorama depicting the arrival of the Hungarians to the Carpathian Basin in 895....

    , Ópusztaszer
    Ópusztaszer is a village in Csongrád county, in the Southern Great Plain region of southern Hungary. It is most known as the location of the National Historical Memorial Park.-Geography:...

    , Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

  • Taejon Cyclorama, depicting the Battle of Taejon
    Battle of Taejon
    The Battle of Taejon was an early battle between United States and North Korean forces during the Korean War. Forces of the United States Army, attempting to defend the headquarters of the 24th Infantry Division were overwhelmed by numerically superior forces of the Korean People's Army at the...

    . On display at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang
    Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

    , North Korea
    North Korea
    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...


See also

  • Cosmorama
    A cosmorama is an exhibition of perspective pictures of different places in the world, usually world landmarks. Careful illumination and lenses are used to give the images greater realism....

  • Diorama
    The word diorama can either refer to a nineteenth century mobile theatre device, or, in modern usage, a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum...

  • Eidophusikon
    The Eidophusikon was a piece of art, no longer extant, created by 18th century English painter Philip James de Loutherbourg. It opened in Leicester Square in February 1781....

  • Moving panorama
    Moving panorama
    The moving panorama was a relative, more in concept than design, to panoramic painting, but proved to be more durable than its fixed and immense cousin. The word “panorama” is derived from the Greek words “to see” and “all.” Robert Barker invented the first panorama to describe his impressive...

  • Myriorama
    Myriorama originally meant a set of illustrated cards which 19th century children could arrange and re-arrange, forming different pictures. Later in the century the name was also applied to shows using a sequence of impressive visual effects to entertain and inform an audience...

  • Panorama
    A panorama is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space, whether in painting, drawing, photography, film/video, or a three-dimensional model....

  • Panoramic painting
    Panoramic painting
    Panoramic paintings are massive artworks that reveal a wide, all-encompassing view of a particular subject, often a landscape, military battle, or historical event. They became especially popular in the 19th Century in Europe and the United States, inciting opposition from writers of Romantic poetry...

  • International Panorama Council
    International Panorama Council
    The International Panorama Council is a global network involving museum directors, managers, artists, restorers and historians who deal with the historical or the contemporary art and media forms of the Panorama...

External links