Cyclorama 360°

Click to embark on a virtual tour of
the Gettysburg cyclorama!

Use your mouse or trackpad to pan around the painting and click on the icons to reveal more information or additional imagery

About the Gettysburg Cyclorama

This 12.5-ton painting-in-the-round by 19th-century French artist, Paul Philippoteaux, focuses upon the massive Confederate attack against the center of the Union line on July 3, 1863. At 377 feet long and 42 feet high, it is the largest oil painting on public display in North America. First displayed in Boston in 1884, it is the only one of the four originals to have survived to the 21st century. Portraits of generals, civilian notables and the artists appear in the work, along with the farms and fields where the battle raged.

Although nothing can substitute for experiencing this amazing artwork in person, we invite you to explore just a few of the hidden stories in the painting. Scroll down to see just a few of these highlights and visit to learn more about this paintings secrets!

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Dr. David Study

Dr. David Study, depicted with his back to the viewer, was a Gettysburg resident and Lydia Leister’s brother, who cared for the wounded as a civilian volunteer. Lydia owned the building used as Meade’s headquarters which can be seen nearby.

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The Diorama

A diorama encircles the painting in the foreground between the viewer on the platform and the painting itself. The purpose of the diorama is to force the viewer’s eye into the painting and to give a sense of depth, while avoiding a dark abyss between the viewer on the platform and the painting. There are what modern day gamers might call, “Easter Eggs” in the diorama too—search for them!

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Self-Portrait of the Artist

Paul Philippoteaux added this self-portrait in the painting, but was careful not to depict himself as being part of history. Rather, he is painted as an observer, looking sideways, and not a participant in the battle scene itself.

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Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.

Robert E. Lee