Bernard Comment

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Bernard Comment

Distributed for Reaktion Books

272 pages | 8.5 x 10.5
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9781861891235 Published February 2004 For sale in North and South America only
Invented in 1788, the panorama reached the height of its popularity at the time of the 1900 Universal Exhibition. Vast circular canvases installed in purpose-built rotundas were designed to be viewed from centrally placed platforms and attracted an admiring public. The aim was to produce a perfect illusion. Thus the relationship between viewer and ’reality’ underwent a profound mutation, opening up a new logic according to which the world was transformed into a spectacle and images substituted for direct experience.

This lavishly illustrated book examines the wide variety of panoramas in both the Old and New Worlds. Included among views of cities are Robert Barker’s View of Edinburgh and Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s View of Palermo, as well as depiction of Paris, Moscow, Jerusalem and Lima; among historical themes, The History of the Century and Battle of Moscow proved especially popular. The author expands his subject to encompass the sister formats of diorama and cineorama.
1. The London Panoramas: From Leicester Square to the Colosseum
2. The Paris Panoramas: From Prévost to Langlois
3. Panoramas of Germany, Switzerland and the United States before 1870
4. Variations: From the Diorama to the ’Moving Panorama’
5. The New Generation, 1870-1900: The Great Exhibitions
6. Prefigurations
7. Supporters and Detractors: The Ideal Landscape
8. Representation/Illusion: A Theory of the Frame
9. The Limits of Illusion
10. From Near/From Far Away
11. What Public?
12. Memory Created: Experience Replaced
13. The Individual in the Town: Compensation and Control
14. Panoramism and Panopticism
15. Views Including Rotundas
16. Cross-sections, Elevations, Orientation Plans and Advertisements
17. Evolution and Variations
18. Panoramic Canvases, Drawings, Studies and Prints
A Genealogy of the Panorama
Select Bibliography
Photographic Acknowledgements
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