Heinrich Caesar Berann
is known as the father of the modern cartographic panorama
and is also credited as the most prolific panorama artist ever
. His style and work could be credited with the lasting appeal of stylized panoramic maps that often feature exaggerated or distorted features as the preferred map type for ski resorts and trails
(PDF) but Berann's true passion was art, as seen in these collections of his paintings
found on the tribute site
maintained by his grandson, Matthias Troyer.
Berann was self-taught, learning by trial and error. Though he came from an artistic family, his father was not supportive of his efforts
. The struggling artist's future was guided in part by winning first prize in a competition to paint a newly opened mountain pass in 1934.
In the late 1970s, Berann worked with Marie Tharp
and Bruce Heezen
to depict not the peaks of the world, but the troughs
, in what became the 1977 World Ocean Floor Panorama
Berann retired in 1994, but his legacy lives on through his apprentice of 40 years, Heinz Vielkind
, who has taken on his own apprentice to carry on the traditions. Veilkind licensed Berann's name and trademark signature, adding “NF” (nachfolger—”successor” in English). Heinrich Berann died in 1999, at the age of 83, having completed the panorama of Denali National Park
a mere 5 years earlier. His last years were devoted to fine art, his true passion.
Tom Patterson, working for the U.S. National Park Service, studied and evaluated Berann's style in detail
, including his unorthodox habit of rotating mountains and widening valleys and his unique interpretations of vertical exaggeration, with the goal of adapting some of Berann's styles to computer-generated imagery. Also noted in the extensive review of Berann's work is his selection of vantage points based on visual appeal, instead of presenting the panorama as a view looking north as one would generally expect from a map, and his signature unearthly clouds, which differ from panorama to panorama. (Note, this page also includes high quality images of Berann's maps for Denali, Yosemite, North Cascades, and Yellowstone, as well as a very high quality image of Yellowstone).