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UNUSUAL PERSPECTIVE – DÜRRNBERG, Salzburg: Hemiorama von dem berühmten Salzberge und Wallfahrts-Ort Dürrnberg bei Hallein.





A view of the Alpine mining town Dürrenberg, situated south of Salzburg, was made in unusual perspective of hemiorama, popular in the 19th century. The buildings and hills in the central view of the town are represented from different angles to showcase all the characteristics. The small views showcase the famous buildings and scenes from the salt mine shafts.



Hemiorama was a name for a popular method of presentation of physical space in paintings and prints, mostly in the 19th century. The name is composed from Greek words hemi- (ἡμι-, “half”) and horama (ὅραμα, a visible object or a view), and means the presentation of the space of 180 degrees from a viewing point, which would normally be visible to an individual without turning around.

The name hemiorama came as a response to panorama (coming from the Greek word pan, meaning all, and previously mentioned horama), a perspective showcasing all the physical space embraced in the 360 degrees with a viewing point as a centre.

The word panorama was invented in 1792 by an English portrait painter Robert Barker to describe his paintings of Edinburgh, Scotland shown on a cylindrical surface. In the next years the panoramas became one of the favourite means to showcase views of the cites, landscapes and mountains from a fixed or moving point, such as boats and later trains.

The idea of panorama was to represent all the physical space and the artists would to do so often use distortions and optical illusions.

Hemiorama was a name contemporary to panorama, which indicated the image represented only half of the real space – only the one visible to individual from a certain point. The hemioramic representations could mean everything from long views with only few distortions, to more compact views, like this one, when the artist had to use his imagination to represent as many characteristics of the objects on a limited space.

By the late 19th century the word hemiorama went out of fashion and was replaced by the word panorama, which gained a broader meaning.

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