Henry Aston Barker was the younger son of Robert Barker (1739-1806), the panorama painter. Aged 12, he was sent by his father to take outlines of Edinburgh from the city's Calton Hill for the world's first 360 degree exhibition panorama. In London, Barker panoramas were exhibited at an establishment in Castle Street, off Leicester Square. The first being a view of London from the roof of the Albion Mills in 1791, the drawings for which were made by the young Henry. Later on, from 1793, Barker panoramas moved to the first purpose-built panorama building in the world, in Leicester Square, London.
The scenes for the panorama of the field of battle at Waterloo were drawn on the spot by Barker and were produced for sale to visitors to the panorama at Leicester Square. Barker had also visited Paris to research the project and to interview officers who participated in the battle. The scenes were etched by J. Burnet. The Barkers earned around Pounds 10,000 from the Waterloo exhibition.