THE GETTYSBURG CYCLORAMA: THE TURNING POINT OF THE CIVIL WAR ON CANVAS

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Written by Chris Brenneman and Sue Boardman. Published 2015 by Savas Beatie. Hardcover with dustjacket. 224 pages.  8.5 x 11, 410 images.

Thousands of books and articles have been written about the Battle of Gettysburg. Almost every topic has been thoroughly scrutinized except one: Paul Philippoteaux’s massive cyclorama painting The Battle of Gettysburg, which depicts Pickett’s Charge, the final attack at Gettysburg. The Gettysburg Cyclorama: The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas is the first comprehensive study of this art masterpiece and historic artifact.

This in-depth study of the history of the cyclorama discusses every aspect of this treasure, which was first displayed in 1884 and underwent a massive restoration in 2008. Coverage includes not only how it was created and what it depicts, but the changes it has undergone and where and how it was moved. Authors Chris Brenneman and Sue Boardman also discuss in fascinating detail how the painting was interpreted by Civil War veterans in the late 19th Century.

With the aid of award-winning photographer Bill Dowling, the authors utilized modern photography to compare the painting with historic and modern pictures of the landscape. Dowling’s remarkable close-up digital photography allows readers to focus on distant details that usually pass unseen. Every officer, unit, terrain feature, farm, and more pictured in the painting is discussed in detail. Even more remarkable, the authors reveal an important new discovery made during the research for this book: in order to address suggestions from the viewers, the cyclorama was significantly modified five years after it was created to add more soldiers, additional flags, and even General George Meade, the commander of the Union Army!

With hundreds of rare historic photographs and beautiful modern pictures of a truly great work of art, The Gettysburg Cyclorama: The Turning Point of the Civil War on Canvas is a must-have for anyone interested in the Battle of Gettysburg or is simply a lover of exquisite art.

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