Panorama

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Joining the train at Ostend
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Arrival at the Hotel des Empereurs, Marseilles

London to Hong Kong in two hours measures 53.35 metres x 0.375 metres. Though quite bulky, it is much smaller than many contemporary moving panoramas which were shown to large audiences. They were the precursors of the cinema in Victorian times.

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The panorama, partly unrolled, at the Museum of London

Painted in watercolour on paper and mounted on fabric, it is designed to be wound between two spools, mounted in a specially constructed proscenium which allows just a small section of the painting to be visible.  The moving journey is described to the audience by a narrator or cicerone. It was regularly shown to my family at Christmas time by my grandfather, Edgar Lamb.

Special effects

During the crossing of Sinai desert, we see a mirage. The backing fabric was cut away so that the mirage painted on the back of the panorama could be seen when illuminated from behind.

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The effect of moonlight on the sea and a rainbow following a storm was achieved by similar means.

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Website © David Brill 2017                  Photographs © David and Assia Brill, Museum of London 2017
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