Panoramic scene of the field of Battle, near Waterloo, for the Panorama, Leicester Square, by Henry Aston Barker, 1816

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

There are 8 parts to the panorama and it was intended that they be joined together to form a complete circle. The viewer would then stand in the centre and have a panoramic view of the entire scene of Battle.

Each part is around 60cm x 29cm.

Drawn on the Plateau of Mont St. Jean, they show:

  • - No.1 -The farm at La Haye Saint, and more
  • - No.2 - Around the orchard of La Haye Saint, and more
  • - No.3 - Prominent part of the Plateau of Mont St. Jean, and more
  • - No.4 - The crest of the hill on which the Imperial Guards were charged, and more
  • - No.5 - The village of Braine La Leude, and more
  • - No.6 - The village of Mont St. Jean, and more
  • - No.7 - The Forest of Soigne, and more
  • - No.8 - Road and hedge leading to Ter La Haye, and more

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Aston Barker (1774-1856) was the younger son of Robert Barker (1739-1806), the panorama painter. Aged 12, he was sent by his father to take outlines of Edinburgh from the city's Calton Hill for the world's first 360 degree exhibition panorama.

In London, Barker panoramas were exhibited at an establishment in Castle Street, off Leicester Square. The first being a view of London from the roof of the Albion Mills in 1791, the drawings for which were made by the young Henry.

Later on, from 1793, Barker panoramas moved to the first purpose-built panorama building in the world, in Leicester Square, London.

The scenes for the panorama of the field of battle at Waterloo were drawn on the spot by Barker and were produced for sale to visitors to the panorama at Leicester Square. Barker had also visited Paris to research the project and to interview officers who participated in the battle. The scenes were etched by J. Burnet.

The Barkers earned around Pounds 10,000 from the Waterloo exhibition.

Conditions Governing Access

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Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Some water-staining and dust-soiling to the parts, and one (No.3) is trimmed to the dge of the plate.

Related Material

Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library, also has a 'Panorama of Edinburgh from Calton Hill, by Robert Barker (1739-1806)' which holds accession no: E2006.22.