Cyclorama


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cyclorama

[¦sī·klə′räm·ə]
(graphic arts)
A vertical surface, often curved, used to form the background for theatrical settings; an illusion of depth is achieved by even lighting.

Cyclorama

 

a type of spatial, or plastic, art. A cyclorama consists of a ribbon-like picture, stretched over the inside surface of a cylindrical frame and combined with an assortment of objects—including structures and real objects—which are arranged in a circle in front of it. It depends for its effect on special lighting. Usually housed in a special building with a round hall, it is viewed from a platform in the center of the room. Because cycloramas create the illusion of real space, encircling the viewer in the manner of a horizon, they are used primarily to represent events occurring over a sizable area with a large number of participants.

The first cyclorama was created in Edinburgh at the end of the 18th century by the Irish painter R. Barker. Cycloramas, usually of battle scenes, became widespread in the 19th century. The most important cycloramas in Russia were created by the painter F. A. Rubo. His Siege of Sevastopol’ (1902–04) opened in Sevastopol’ (1902-04) in 1905. It was badly damaged during the 1941–42 siege of Sevastopol’ but was restored and reopened in 1954. The Battle of Borodino, painted in 1911, opened in Moscow in 1912 and again in 1962. The Soviet painters M. B. Grekov, G. K. Savit-skii, P. P. Sokolov-Skalia, and N. G. Kotov have all worked on cycloramas.

REFERENCE

Petropavlovskii, V. Iskusstvo panoram i dioram. Kiev, 1965.

cyclorama

A curved backdrop at the rear of a theater stage, sometimes extending around to the proscenium arch in a U-shape; usually painted to simulate the sky.
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