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.