Panorama of “Battle of Bannockburn”

Panorama of “Battle of Bannockburn”, Sauchiehall Street.—

    The most attractive and interesting entertainment of a permanent character in our city is undoubtedly the Great Scottish National Panorama, “Battle of Bannockburn”. This magnificent revival of Scotland’s greatest battle is the work of the eminent artist, Phililipp Fleischer, of Munich. The “Battle of Bannockburn”, which by the cunning hand of the artist is made to appear life-size, the eye stretching, as it seems, for ten miles in every direction over the celebrated battlefield, is enclosed in a handsome circular building of one hundred and ten feet diameter.

    The roof is dome-shaped and measures one hundred and ten feet diameter at the base, the total height from the ground being one hundred and thirty feet. Looking across from the south side of Sauchiehall Street the beautifully designed structure has a grand appearance, and at once attracts the attention of a stranger as being different and forming an agreeable contrast to the surrounding buildings. Above the wide entrance is painted in bold plain letter the word “Panorama”, to the left of which are “Continental Restaurant”, and to the right “Ladies’ Cafe”. These magnificent establishments, situated on the right and left of the entrance hall, are furnished in a luxurious manner (by one of our leading houses), the restaurant having dining accommodation for sixty persons, and the Ladies’ Cafe for the same number. They are fitted with every convenience in the most approved and highly finished style, even to the walls and ceiling, which are decorated in a most artistic manner. Lighted by incandescent electric lamps, these rooms are unique for their imposing appearance at night, and it is certain that they will become the most popular of the kind in the city.

    “Bannockburn” is already so well known, and has been so fully described in our leading newspapers, that it is unnecessary here to enter into details, even if space permitted. Suffice it to say that when the spectator is brought in sight of it he is struck with admiration, and can’t avoid wondering how it is that inside a building measuring one hundred and ten feet in diameter the artist has managed to place an exact duplicate of the field of Bannockburn. As has been said, the eye wanders from the beautiful foreground (which is formed out of natural growths from the field of Bannock) away into the open, country, and does not rest seemingly until it has reached a distance of many miles. It is really a wonderful work. “Bannockburn” may be said to have been carried into Glasgow, and will be visited as regularly as the real field would be, not only by those whose thoughts are with Bruce and his army, but by all who love to be in the country.

    The “Battle of Bannockburn” is the property of a limited company, the managing director being Mr. A. M. Thiem, who is a genial, courteous gentleman, and much respected in influential circles, and under his superintendence this new and already popular place of entertainment will help admirably to fill up the gap left by the closing of the exhibition. The Company has commissioned Mr. Fleischer, the eminent artist of “ Bannockburn^’ to produce a work of a similar kind for Manchester, where they have found a splendid site in Deansgate in that city.

    The subject of this new undertaking is the Battle of Trafalgar, and already Mr. Fleischer has entered upon his important task in London, where he is taking advantage of the Admiralty Museum and other institutions, in his art studies connected with it. How Mr. Fleischer will treat this greatest of sea battles, which made England the ruler of the deep, it is not difficult to imagine. There is great scope for him displaying his wonderful talent. No doubt the Victory will play the central part, in Lord Nelson’s famous charge between the French and Spanish ships ; and we can fancy a side picture showing the death of the great hero in the interior of the Victory, or perhaps directing his men on the deck, in a posture indicating his reputed fearlessness for his own safety, while the marksmen posted on the enemy’s ships are pointing their deadly weapons at his breast. After having seen “Bannockburn”, we can picture in our minds the Battle of Trafalgar ; we can see the huge Spanish war ships defending themselves against the smaller English, some sinking, some in confusion, and a few retreating in the distance, with Cape Trafalgar as a background. We have mentioned that in “Bannockburn” the foreground is formed out of natural growths, and this would lead us to expect that the foreground of Trafalgar will be formed out of real water, and that Mr. Fleischer’s genius will enable him to blend it into his paintings so as to make the observer feel that he is looking at the original scene, with miles of water in every direction except where it is broken by Cape Trafalgar. We have no doubt that this eminent artist will be successful in his present undertaking, and can almost prophesy that “Trafalgar” will be received at Christmas (when we understand the work will be completed), with even greater enthusiasm than Bannockburn is here, as there will be no other attraction like our Exhibition to interfere with its inauguration. The building in Manchester is to be from the same design as that of “Bannockburn”, and is in course of erection.

    Of course, this new venture will also be guided by Mr. Thiem, the able managing director of the company, to whose experience and artistic taste is due the palatial appearance and comfort which characterises everything he takes a part in, and which is so much admired in the refreshment departments of “Bannockburn”, and in the Windsor Hotel, Edinburgh, of which he is the proprietor.

    In connection with this magnificent hotel, by the way, it should be mentioned that Mr. Thiem is the purveyor to Her Majesty’s Lord High Commissioners. The Windsor Hotel, Edinburgh, is one of the most handsome in the country, and while visiting the Scottish capital it is used as a home by the most influential families and gentlemen, who find in their gentlemanly host one who prides himself in scrupulously looking after the comfort of his guests, and in maintaining his reputation for giving the highest class entertainment at strictly moderate prices.

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