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June 24, 2005

Cyclorama Reality


A cyclorama is not some futuristic vehicle. It's not the newest component for your hi-fi. Instead, invented back in 1787, the cyclorama was the world's first successful stab at virtual reality. The idea was simple: put people in a big round room where any and all surfaces are painted to look like an amazing place or event. Perhaps it's a far-away city. Perhaps it's a famous battle. In any case, the cyclorama audience was (and still is) instantly transported to worlds they could have previously only imagined... or something to this effect.

A few of these old cycloramas are still in existence. If you can't personally visit one, check out these QTVR panoramas:

The Battle of Bergisel
View of Innsbruck

June 24, 2005 | Permalink


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Gettysburgh has one depicting the battle. They even have a show where they highlight important areas with spotlights. Check it out if you are ever in that area.

Posted by: Ta'nernin | Jun 28, 2005 3:18:05 PM

Great sources. I knew of the Gettysburg
cyclorama, a version of it toured to
standing room only crowds in the 1800's.
There is a remarkable cyclorama created by
Claude Monet, the great French painter,
a vast circular panorama he painted over many years and finally donnated to the nation of his water lily pool, in the Tulleries Gardens by the Louvre in Paris,
it is a remarkable and beautiful rendition
done in purples, mauves, pearl and opalescent colours, and the viewer has
the feeling of being in a floating world,
the canvases are very high and surround the
viewer being mounted in a great oval room.
I will seek a site for it.

Posted by: chris gerlach | Jul 11, 2005 4:49:52 PM

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