A cyclorama is a large, curved painting that wraps around the walls of an entire room. It creates the illusion of looking out over a landscape or cityscape.

The word “cyclorama” comes from the Greek words kuklos (meaning “circle”) and horama (meaning “view”). The first known use of this word was in 1887, when it appeared in a stage design catalog for Broadway’s Booth Theater.

Cycloramas were originally designed to provide 360 degree views of distant landscapes and cities as well as historical events such as battles without distortion caused by perspective.



What Is a Cyclorama?

A cyclorama is a 360-degree painting or wall decoration that depicts the view from one side of an imaginary circle.

The term was coined in 1887 by Léon Bonnat, the French artist who created more than thirty cycloramas between 1888 and 1927.



Today they are typically used in museums to display scenes from famous battles or other important moments in history. Cycloramas have also been used recently for popular movies

The name comes from the Greek word “cyclos” which means “circle.” These paintings were popularized in 19th-century France and were mainly used for panoramic battle scenes, but they have been used for many other purposes since then.

Cyclorama Definition

The word “cyclorama” can refer to two different types of art: one is a large scale painting usually exhibited on the inside of a cylindrical surface and another type is more specifically called an “enveloping mural”.

Today, these types of paintings are used for entertainment purposes such as stage productions and films.

One famous example is the Battle at Gettysburg cyclorama by Paul Philippoteaux.

It was commissioned in 1880 and still stands today at its original location near Grant Park in Atlanta, Georgia.

Origin Of Cyclorama

The original purpose was to create an illusion of depth on stage by enhancing the three-dimensional effect for spectators looking at it from a particular direction.

A cyclorama is a circular backdrop and typically made of canvas, paper, or other fabric, mounted on an outer curve.

The cyclorama has been around for centuries but it wasn’t until 1859 that artist Paul Philippoteaux revolutionized this painting technique with his use of a canvas instead of plaster on a circular wall.


Cycloramas were most popular during the 19th century and early 20th, They can be defined as a circular wall with the inside surface painted white, or sometimes black, to create the illusion of being sky.

They have been used in architecture for centuries, but they were popularized by French painter Eugène Delacroix in his painting “The Battle of Wagram”, which was completed in 1853.

This work’s fame has led many people to incorrectly believe that the term originated with him.

However, it can be traced back as far as 1772 when architect Charles Cameron created the first-ever fully-circular one for King George III at Windsor Castle.

A cyclorama is a large panoramic backdrop that can be used to transform any space into an immersive environment.

This type of painting was first introduced in 1829 by French artist Charles-François Lebourg (1782-1862).

In 1853, this technique was further developed by British theatre designer Michael William Poitier (1824-1901) for his production of Richard III at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, London.

History And Etymology For Cyclorama

The word “cyclorama” was coined by the panoramic artist Robert Dudley. It combines the Greek roots ‘cyclo-‘, meaning circular, and ‘-orama’ meaning view or sight.”

The word “cyclorama” comes from the ancient Greek word κυκλος, meaning circle or ring.

The idea of a circular panoramic painting was first conceived by British artist Thomas Highmore in 1787.


He envisioned a painting that would wrap around a cylindrical surface with an opening at the top to provide light for viewing.

A similar idea was patented in 1867 as the Cyclorama Building and Panorama Hall Company of Boston, Massachusetts but it is unclear if this company went into production.

In 1939, architect Howard Crane collaborated with well-known New York City theatrical producer Harry Moulton to design his own version of what he referred to as “a 360° moving picture show.”