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.