Invented in 1788, the panorama reached the height of its popularity at the time of the 1900 Universal Exhibition. Designed to be viewed from centrally placed platforms, these vast circular canvases were installed in purpose-built rotundas in major European and American cities and towns, and attracted large crowds of admirers. They were created by collaborative teams of specialist painters, and the more ambitious of these installations included fake terrain and artificial scented breezes to give the vistas and historic events depicted a more authentic feel. The aim was to produce a perfect illusion of reality. This text surveys a wide variety of examples created in both the Old and New Worlds, from the medium's invention to the present day.