You can hear the sounds of gunfire and the artillery in the distance. You hear horses neighing and orders being called. The recent addition of quadraphonic sound has enhanced the reality. If you close your eyes, you can imagine that you are there in the middle of the battlefield. When you open your eyes, you will be touched by all the carnage around you. There are wounded soldiers and horses lying on the ground between you and the painting. I swear I could smell the smoke from the guns. You watch as the two cavalries ride valiantly against each other. If you have ever thought of war as a romantic experience, the reality of this painting will chase that thought from your mind forever.
You can take your time and walk around the platform for as long as you like. Everywhere you stop gives you a little different perspective. It’s as close to being there as most of us will ever get.
Entrance to the Panorama is covered on the combination ticket.
“ Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
A different war but a timeless sentiment.
March 24, 2004
From journal Waterloo-Clash of the Titans