Panorama Paintings in the 1840s of the Mormon Temple in Nauvoo

The national movement of panorama painting in midnineteenth century America yielded a number of important paintings of the Mormon city of Nauvoo and its temple. There were four major artists who created Mississippi River panoramas before 1850: John Rowson Smith, Samuel B. Stockwell, Leon de Pomarede, and Henry Lewis. Each of these men painted the upper river where Nauvoo is located, including scenes of the city and of the Mormon temple in their panoramas. These were literally moving panoramas: the painted canvas was unrolled from one cylinder and rerolled onto another across a stage. These panoramas were produced and taken to the people by traveling exhibitors for public entertainment, mass education, and group artistic enjoyment. Each of these panoramas received extensive patronage in America, and two of them were taken abroad. These pictorial displays of the Mississippi River were seen by hundreds of thousands of people in America and probably millions on both continents.

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