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Robert Barker

(1739-1806), Painter of panoramas

Sitter in 3 portraits
Barker opened the Leicester Square Panorama in 1793. It was one of the most popular public spectacles of the Regency and consisted of a 360-degree landscape scene, painted on the inside of a huge cylinder and housed in a brick rotunda. Viewers walked into the centre of the cylinder and were immersed in a famous battle or the sights of a foreign city. Barker's initial charge was three shillings, targeting an affluent audience, which was later reduced to one shilling. Barker's copyright expired in 1801 and many similar exhibitions were established on the Strand, at Spring Gardens in Vauxhall and in Regent's Park, where an ambitious 360-degree view of the Colosseum in Rome was a great success.

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Robert Barker, after Unknown artist - NPG D27828

Robert Barker

after Unknown artist
line engraving, late 17th to early 18th century
NPG D27828

Robert Barker, by J. Singleton, after  George Keith Ralph - NPG D1164

Robert Barker

by J. Singleton, after George Keith Ralph
stipple engraving, published 1802
NPG D1164

Robert Barker, by J. Flight, after  Charles Allingham - NPG D23500

Robert Barker

by J. Flight, after Charles Allingham
mezzotint, before 1806
NPG D23500

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