Panorama Museum | Residenzplatz
As far as the eye can see: the cycloramic painting by Johann Michael Sattler gives us a view onto the City of Salzburg and its environs around the year 1829. The view is seemingly familiar to us today, but on closer perusal we see that quite a lot has changed. The picture is striking for its topographical precision, above all in the built-up areas of the city. All the window axes, chimneys and roof forms of the buildings exactly match reality. Sattler’s photographic exactness still gives us insights today into the lives of people and the environment of that time. The observers of the Biedermeier age were not the only ones to be carried away by the cycloramic view from the Fortress of Hohensalzburg – even today, the panorama fascinates local people and guests of Salzburg.
In the panorama, Salzburg owns a cultural monument of a very special kind, which since its re-installation and restoration can still “hit the charts” as a top attraction in the centre of the historic city. Also worked on by Friedrich Loos and Johann Jakob Schindler, the picture puts the rest of Johann Michael Sattler’s oeuvre into the shade as an artistic and entrepreneurial achievement. In the early nineteenth century, artists saw themselves as educators of the people within the context of middle-class, bourgeois society. So Sattler became a kind of upscale travelling fairground showman, who toured Europe for ten years with his panorama, a mobile exhibition pavilion and his family. Moving from town to town, he collected not only distinctions and decorations, but was also beneficial for the common good as the first tourist promoter for Salzburg. Information was shared through people’s visual and mental curiosity – an early form of today’s infotainment!