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  2.6 Key to Panorama  

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Great Historical Picture Of The Storming Of Seringapatam By The British Troops And Their Allies, May 4th 1799. Painted By Robert Ker Porter.

Engraving by Lee, after Ker Porter, London 1800

er Porter was educated in Edinburgh, but moved to London in 1790, to study under Benjamin West at the Royal Academy. Here he met Henry Aston Barker, whose father, Robert, had pioneered the concept of panoramic painting in Edinburgh in the 1780s. It was an ideal convention for Ker Porter's subject, and at the age of only 23, he completed the vast canvas in only six weeks.

First shown in the Great Room at the Lyceum Theatre, London from 17 April 1800 to 10 January 1801, the panorama then travelled to Edinburgh, Dublin, and other cities in the British Isles. A companion guide was published, providing historical background , a Comprehensive View of the Madras and Bombay armies, and A Descriptive Sketch of the panorama. The guide ran to seven editions. The 'Descriptive Sketch' was re-issued with the appropriate details at each new exhibition venue, and bi-lingual versions were also published, French and English.

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