Panorama of Constantinople [and its environs].
[Palser [and] Barker, London, 1813].
In 1797 Robert Barker took out a patent which gave him exclusive rights to exhibit 360o paintings mimicking nature. His first exhibition was of a painting of London and for this friends provided him with a title sufficiently striking to gain a permanent place in the English language. 'Panorama', derived from the Greek words meaning 'all' and 'view' had its first use in 1791 in the advertisements for the picture of London. Together with his son Henry Aston Barker, Robert opened a new and fashionable venue in Leicester Square, 'The Panorama', where examples of this new art form were exhibited to an eager public. A form of education and entertainment, the Barkers' panoramas soon became "all the rage" according to the artist John Constable. When their monopoly ended in 1801, the Barkers realised that they had to take steps to ensure their patrons were not enticed away to rival exhibitions. As a result, views from all parts of the globe started to appear at Leicester Square and, in 1801 the first foreign city to be presented at the Panorama was Constantinople.
The present panorama forms a reproduction of the view. Indeed it represent the only large-scale reproduction of any of the views exhibited.
Continuous aquatint strip panorama (49 x 431 cm), linen-backed, varnished and wound on mahogany rollers, consisting of eight sheets plus key sheet all conjoined. This 360-degree panorama was issued here on a roller. The sheets making up this example were trimmed along the lower edge before being mounted as one. It therefore lacks words from its title and also the imprint; the first three words of the title, artist, etcher, and the aquatinter appear in the lower margin of each sheet.
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