The first half of the 19th century saw the advent of a new medium known as the «Grand Panorama».
These monumental paintings, which depicted distant cities, landscapes or major battles, were a big success with the public and became speculative objects for investors.
The panoramas were usually financed and organised by businessmen;
the Zurich Panorama Society was founded in this way.
Its principal shareholders were the brothers Adelrich and Martin Gyr from Einsiedeln. They were inspired by the entrepreneur Benjamin Henneberg, who had built panorama rotundas in Geneva (1880) and Lucerne (1889), where the Bourbaki Panorama went on show.
From 1893 Henneberg exhibited, at various locations, the panorama entitled Alpes bernoises by Auguste Baud-Bovy. Initially he worked together with Belgian companies, which were pioneering the panorama business in France and Germany.
From November 1892 onwards the Gyr Brothers participated in the panorama project entitled The Crucifixion of Christ by Eckstein & Esenwein of Stuttgart for the place of pilgrimage Einsiedeln; they took over the majority shareholding at short notice. The panorama, inaugurated on 1 July 1893, attracted between 40,000 and 100,000 visitors a year until 1898.