The silhouette was an image of a person showing the outline only, usually filled with a solid shadow, and most often, in profile. His name comes from "Etienne de Silhouette," a French Comptroller General of Finance who lived from 1709 to 1767. He was a notorious, his name became obvious with everything done or done inexpensively , such as silhouettes, in addition to which he has entirely decorated a new house (to save money) by cutting small silhouettes of black paper.
The popularity of the silhouette was partly due to the fact that it was inexpensive (much less than a painted portrait, for example), and that it could be produced quickly, but also because it was a delightful form of art in its own right.
There are several types of silhouettes but the most common ones were cut out of black paper with scissors. They could also be called "paper cuts", "shadows" or, as in England, "shades". Once the black shape is complete, the paper will then be stuck on a white (or at least lighter) background card and your portrait will be finished. The silhouette was also popular in America, where one could make one in the street, as in Philadelphia, for a penny, and in minutes. In size, they resembled a small photograph, and once the daguerreotype invented, the figure quickly declines in popularity.
In the last decades of the eighth century (Georgian England) and the early nineteenth century (Regency), the silhouettes were still raging. In the courts of France and Germany, they even replaced the miniature portrait. The miniatures, as I explained in a different article, were popular among dignitaries as diplomatic tools, and among all those who could afford it, as personal tokens. The silhouette, on the other hand, made portable portraits of loved ones accessible to almost everyone, and could even be used as wall decorations. All you needed was a person who could create them (a "portrait portraitist") and a few cents. Over time, their popularity shifted to the rich, who "ordered silhouettes to be painted and encrusted with precious stones in jewelry and snuffboxes."
In addition, making silhouettes was a board game popular (called Shades ) where everyone could try to the art. Finished pieces may not have been works of art, but their manufacture was certainly a joyous way to pass the time. (The game called "Shadows", on the contrary, was when we made shadow images on the walls using mostly hands, nothing was pulled or removed from the exercise except some laughs .)
The Concise Brittanica states that silhouettes were made "by drawing the contour molded by candlelight or light," which is certainly the way the average person did it. However, "once the photography rendered the silhouettes almost obsolete, they became (simply) a type of folk art practiced by itinerant artists and caricaturists".
Auguste Edouart, a French, cuts complete silhouettes . Another itinerant was the American boy silhouettist Master Hubard, who cut the profiles in 20 seconds.
A fine example of a figure is Cassandra Austen, Jane's beloved sister. (Use the link below to download my April ezine, which includes illustrations with this article.) Notice the lighter details? This was done because his "shadow" could be reduced ("using a reducing instrument known as a pantograph") and then painted using "soot, or black lamp, on plaster or glass ". After painting the black face, hair, hats, ribbons, frills and other essentials of the day would have been dragged. with the help of a fine brush, with a pigment more and more diluted. "
Another style of silhouette (with a yellow background, see the example download) is The self-portrait of Jane Austen the past would have probably been made of the following four formats:
Cutting Hand raised with scissors or a sharp edge, then glued "
In England, from the late 18th to the early 19th century, (19459002) the stylistic regency, in other words) a famous artist of the silhouette was John Miers (1756-1821). Previous to him was John Field. JC Lavater, a German who steeped in science, used a machine to do what he called "scientific" silhouettes. (I guess "scientist" in this case, means "accurate".)
If you click the link below to download the ezine, you will see, as an illustration finale of this article, a figure called, "Swinging Corpse", which is an image of Bill Nye History of England, published in 1900; (Called, "a reluctant taxpayer"!) The image was tampered with (the cut background) to make it a silhouette, but as I also did a series on "Murder and Mayhem during the Regency") I thought that particular silhouette was an appropriate closing image. (smile)