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Distributed for University Press of New England

The Painters’ Panorama

Narrative, Art, and Faith in the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress

The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress is an extraordinary 8-foot by 800-foot painting that was created in 1851 and thought lost for a full century. Rediscovered in 1996 and fully restored in 2012, it illustrates John Bunyan’s iconic book The Pilgrim’s Progress—first published in 1678 and in print continuously since then—a heart-stopping allegory of trial and faith in which the hero, Christian, battles giants, monsters, tricksters, and his own weaknesses to reach the Celestial City. Moving panoramas were a mid-nineteenth-century precursor to the motion picture, massive canvases that were scrolled across a stage and accompanied by a lecturer and music. One of only a handful that survive today, the Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress was one of the most popular and important moving panoramas of its day, with designs by rising luminaries of the Hudson River School of American landscape painting: Frederic Edwin Church, Jasper Cropsey, Daniel Huntington, and others. Scholars and fans of theater and film, panoramas, American art, religious studies, literature, and The Pilgrim’s Progress itself will value this beautifully illustrated volume.

164 pages | 10 x 7

Art: American Art


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Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgments, Leslie L. Rounds • “A More Perfect View Thereof”: Landscape, Religion, and the Artistic Underpinnings of the Panorama, Jessica Skwire Routhier • Movies for Manifest Destiny: The Moving Panorama Phenomenon in America, Kevin J. Avery • PLATES • The Panorama’s Progress: A History of Kyle and Dallas’s Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress, Thomas Hardiman Jr. • Epilogue, Jessica Skwire Routhier

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