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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cyclorama Focal Point

July 3, 1863 - Third Day

 
 
Cyclorama Focal Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
1. Cyclorama Focal Point Marker
Inscription. "You will find hard work to convince yourself that you are not standing on the top of Cemetery Ridge in the very center of the position occupied by the troops of the Northern army on that memorable day in July ...."
Boston Sunday Globe
December 20, 1884
Preview of the Cyclorama exhibit

In 1882, 19 years after the battle, the renowned French artist Paul Philippoteaux journeyed to Gettysburg to study the battlefield and interview veterans. He chose the spot where you are now standing to be the focal point of a monumental 360 painting, or cyclorama, depicting the climax of Pickett's Charge.

Using sketches, notes, and photos made here, Philippoteaux returned to Paris, where, with the aid of five other artists, he completed the cyclorama in just two years for an exhibition in Chicago. Later he completed a secondcyclorama nearly identical to the first. This second painting was exhibited in Boston in 1884, and later in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

In 1913 the "Boston" version of the cyclorama was brought to Gettysburg for the 50th Anniversary of the battle. Later the National Park Service acquired and restored the painting. Today the cyclorama is exhibited in the cylindrical building behind you, within sight of the historic landscape it depicts.
 
Erected by
Close Up of the Painting Section image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
2. Close Up of the Painting Section
Gettysburg National Military Park.
 
Location. 39° 48.802′ N, 77° 14.117′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Hancock Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located near the Angle and High Water Mark on Cemetery Ridge in Gettysburg National Military Park. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Army of the Potomac (a few steps from this marker); Fourth Volunteer Brigade (a few steps from this marker); 99th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers (a few steps from this marker); Battlefield Landmarks - West and North (a few steps from this marker); Pettigrew and Trimble's Attack (a few steps from this marker); Arnold's Battery (a few steps from this marker); Battery K, 1st N.Y. Light Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Artillery Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gettysburg.
 
More about this marker. In the upper center is a section of the cyclorama. In this quarter-section of the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting, you are looking south along Cemetery Ridge toward the Round Tops. Numbered highlights include:
(1) 72nd Penna. Infantry being pressed into battle
(2)
Cyclorama Focal Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, December 27, 2008
3. Cyclorama Focal Point Marker
Union Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock and staff
(3) Little Round Top
(4) Big Round Top
(5) Copse of Trees

On the lower right is a photograph of the landscape. To accurately record landscape details, artist Paul Philippoteaux made arrangements with local photographer William Tipton to take photographs of the surrounding area in 1882. The photographs, including this view to the south, were taken from an elevated platform located here.

In the lower center is a photograph of Philippoteaux at work. French painter Paul Philippoteaux at work on the Gettysburg Cyclorama in the 1880s. Today the completed painting measures 26 feet high and 360 feet long.
 
Regarding Cyclorama Focal Point. The Cyclorama building mentioned in the marker text is now closed. The painting was moved to the new Gettysburg visitor center to the east of Taneytown Road.
 
Also see . . .  High Water Mark. National Park Service virtual tour stop. (Submitted on February 11, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 871 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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