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(1) A painting in which an image is reproduced on a specially illuminated translucent material.
(2) A more contemporary use of the word refers to a type of painting in which a filmlike picture, drawn vertically across the inner surface of a semicircular subframe, is combined with an object plane situated in front of it (for example, stage settings, material objects, and various structures). Designed for artificial lighting, large dioramas are set up in specially constructed buildings. In Dioramas, as in panoramas, natural representation (primarily battle scenes) attains great illusory effects. The first diorama was created in 1822 by L. J. Daguerre in Paris; Daguerre’s invention won popular acclaim during the 19th century.
The most significant Soviet diorama is The May 7, 1944, Assault on Mount Sapun. Other dioramas are Assault on Perekop (1961; artists, M. I. Samsonov, M. A. Anan’ev, and V. P. Fel’dman; Central Museum of the Armed Forces of the USSR, Moscow), The Assault of the Ochakov Fortress by Russian Troops in 1788 (1970, artist, M. I. Samsonov; A. V. Suvorov Military and Historical Museum in Ochakov), and The 1905 Uprising in Perm’ (1970; artists E. I. Danilevskii and M. A. Anan’ev; Perm’).