Exhibit: A 19th-Century Painted Panorama

Many long paintings — not meant to be viewed in one glance — were made in the 19th century. They were pre-cinema film strips: they would be slowly turned for an audience as it immersed itself in the narratives. Despite the huge popularity of such moving panoramas, very few survive. One of these rare examples is having a special viewing this month, at the Krannert Art Museum, at the University of Illinois. The panorama is believed to be the work of self-taught Indiana Quaker artist Marcus Mote and features New Testament scenes from the life of Christ. The paintings are adorned with gold foil and sequins that would have glistened with the movement of the muslin.

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