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LE PANTHEON DE LA GUERRE
In a circular building on the Midway was a gigantic panorama of World War I painted upon a canvas 402 feet long and 45 feet high. "The Pantheon" building at A Century of Progress was especially constructed to house the painting. The painting was viewed from platforms at two levels, which accomodated 1,000 persons. The upper platform was an unobstructed circle over fifty feet in diameter, from which the whole circuit of the painting could be viewed. The lower platform formed a ring, with the outer surface about twenty feet nearer the canvas than that of the upper circle, and was at an angle that gave the spectator an eye-level view of the large foreground portraits in the painting.
It took 130 artists to create this monumental masterpiece. They worked upon it from October 1914 until after the Armistice. While the picture was being painted, Paris was being continuously bombarded.
Against a background of war-ravaged France and Belgium stood groups of more than 6,000 individuals. All the famous leaders of the Allied nations, the great heroes, and the martyrs were depicted. Twenty-eight nations were represented.
The painting was said to have cost $500,000 and it was presented at the fair under the sponsorship of Pershing Hall, the A.E.F. memorial building in Paris.
Under a bust of George Washington, the artist created the American section, first symbolizing the branches of American manpower, the business man, the cowboy, and the Indian—the assemblage being led by a dashing West Point cadet. President Wilson is shown at the center, reading his pronouncement to the people, which sent us into the war, "Right is more precious than peace."
The information and picture of the Pantheon building on this page are from The World's Fair Weekly for the week ending June 10.