Barker’s Panorama of London from the Roof of the Albion Mills, 1801
with an introduction by Ralph Hyde and keys by Peter Jackson. Published concurrently by the Society and Guildhall Library. (See also LTS 109)
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The English itinerant portrait painter Robert Barker’s semi-circular Panorama of London, painted as if viewed from the roof of Albion Mills on the South Bank, comprised a series of six prints. Albion Mills was a steam-powered flour mill situated on the southeastern side of Blackfriars Bridge in northern Southwark. Barker coined the word “panorama”, from Greek pan (“all”) horama (“view”). In 1793 Barker moved his panoramas to the first purpose-built panorama building in the world, in Leicester Square, and made a fortune. Viewers flocked to pay three shillings to stand on a central platform under a skylight, which offered an even light, to get an experience that was “panoramic” (an adjective that didn’t appear in print until 1813).