Bourbaki Panorama in Lucerne
Towards the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century new media developed that tried to represent the world as realistically as possible. With all possible optical and modern technical tricks the audience got the illusion to be there themselves. The Irish painter Robert Barker had an invention patented in London in 1787, which shortly afterwards became known as “Panorama”. His invention was a naturalistic painted round image. This was so large that it surrounded the spectators and included them in the scene.
The Bourbaki Panorama in Lucerne is an impressive cultural legacy of the spirit of the times. The Panorama by the painter Edouard Castres (1838-1902) from 1881 is one of the most impressive visual spectacles in the history of the media. 112 by 10 metres, it shows the defeated French Army of General Bourbaki on their memorable crossing of the border near Les Verrières (canton of Neuchâtel) during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71. (Source: www.bourbakipanorama.ch).