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Panoramas in Switzerland (1)

It is probably mere coincidence that not one of the many grand panoramas in France or Italy has survived, while no fewer than four have survived in Switzerland. Besides the Panorama of the Battle of Murten by Louis Braun from 1894 they include:

1. The Panorama of Thun and its Surroundings, by Marquard Wocher. It was opened in Basel in 1814 and acquired by the Thun Town Embellishment Association [Verschönerungsverein] in 1899. It remained rolled up for many years, but has been re-exhibited in the Schadau Park outside Thun since 1961. The Thun Panorama is the oldest grand panorama still in existence worldwide.

2. The Panorama of the Bourbaki Army, or Entrée des Français aux Verrières to give it its correct name, by Louis Castres, dating from 1881, depicts the defection of the French eastern army under the supreme command of General Bourbaki to Switzerland at Les Verrières in 1871. It was commissioned by Benjamin Henneberg and was initially exhibited in Geneva before being transferred to Lucerne in 1889. Henneberg erected a rotunda for it next to the Lion Monument [Löwendenkmal] and the Glacier Garden. While the painting was subsequently cut by 5 m above the horizon and the building altered several times, both the panorama and the rotunda have remained in the same location to this day.

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