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Part of The American Wing
John Vanderlyn (American, Kingston, New York 1775–1852 Kingston, New York)
Date: 1818–19Accession Number: 52.184
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The Lawrence A. and Barbara Fleischman Gallery includes a painting—Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles by John Vanderlyn (1775–1852)—that is a rare survivor of a form of American public art and entertainment that flourished in the nineteenth century. Invented in Great Britain in the 1780s, panoramas were displayed within the darkened interior of a cylindrical building and then illuminated by concealed skylights, offering the illusion of an actual landscape. Visitors paid a small admission fee and were rewarded with vicarious travel to different parts of the world.
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