Before there was virtual reality, before there were motion pictures, before there was any sort of media interactivity, there was the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama. This massive painting, commemorating the bloody final Confederate assault of July 3, 1863, was first exhibited 20 years after this pivotal battle of the American Civil War.

The painter and the painting

Paul Philippoteaux at work, and his self-portrait.

Following a $13 million restoration completed in 2008, the 377-foot long, 42-foot high painting by French artist Paul Philippoteaux was installed in a purpose-built structure at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

The legend of Lincoln

President Lincoln, injured, is being carried off the field.

With the cooperation of the authors and publisher of the definitive book on the painting, The Gettysburg Cyclorama: The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas, we have included a sample chapter from the book to demonstrate its depth of information, with chapters devoted to exploring in great detail the historical figures and locations in the painting. The book may be purchased here.

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except from Ken Burns' "The Civil War"

Ken Burns' "The Civil War" (1990) used details from the Cyclorama.

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