Panoramas-immense paintings, often in the round-were enormously popular during the 19th century, both in Europe and in America. Illustrated with hundreds of colorplates, including seven large double gatefolds, Bernard Comment's incisive and detailed study traces the history of an unusual art form, placing these elaborate 360-degree paintings in a full historical, social, and cultural context.
Drawing on extensive research, Comment, a cultural critic, brings to life both the reality and the significance of painted panoramas: the artists (often collaborative teams whose goal was perfect illusionism), the installations (specially built rotundas and tents), the subjects (cityscapes, vistas, battles, and religious tableaus, among others), and the meanings (panoramas as propaganda, advertising, substitutes for experience, and forerunners of cinema) of these amazing works of art.
210 illustrations, 120 in full color, 7 double gatefolds, 10 3/4 x 8 5/8"
BERNARD COMMENT is the award-winning author of several books published in France, including a study of Roland Barthes.