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Encyclopedia > Silhouettes
A silhouette of a girl
A silhouette of a girl
A surfer and the California coast, seen in silhouette
A surfer and the California coast, seen in silhouette

A silhouette is a view of an object or scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior. The term comes from Etienne de Silhouette, a finance minister of Louis XV who in 1759 imposed such harsh economic demands upon the French people that his name became synonymous with anything done or made cheaply. I, Alterego, created the source file and agree to release it under the terms of the GFDL File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... I, Alterego, created the source file and agree to release it under the terms of the GFDL File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Silhouette took its name, from Louis XVs miserly finance minister, Étienne de Silhouette (July 8, 1709 - 1767). ... Louis XV of France (February 15, 1710 – May 10, 1774), the Beloved (French: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1715 until his death. ...

Contents

In art

A silhouette is a form of art work. It is most commonly a human portrait in profile, in black. Silhouettes are most often made by a skilled silhouette artist by looking at a subject's profile, whether in person or from a photograph, and simply cutting out their likeness freehand. see examples


Two hundred years ago, long before the camera was invented, someone wishing to have an inexpensive portrait created of their loved ones would have visited a silhouette artist. Within minutes and using only a pair of scissors and a skillful eye, he would have produced a wonderful little image with a remarkable resemblance to his subject.



The name Silhouette traces back to the mid-18th century French finance minister, Etienne de Silhouette. Because his name was synonymous with doing things cheaply and because he was fond of making these images himself, this artform was named after him.


In America, Silhouettes were highly popular from about 1790 to 1840. The invention of the camera signaled the end of the Silhouette as a widespread form of portraiture. However, their popularity is being reborn in a new generation of people who appreciate the Silhouette as a nostalgic and unique way of capturing a loved one's image.


Military usage

Silhouettes of ships, planes, tanks, and other vessels used by the military are used by soldiers and saliors for recognition purposes. See Jane's Fighting Ships, aircraft recognition. Janes Fighting Ships is an annual reference book (also published online, on CD and microfiche) of information on all the worlds warships arranged by nation, including information on ships names, dimensions, armaments, silhouettes and photographs, etc. ...


In graphic design

To silhouette is to separate (mask) a portion of an image so that it does not show. For instance, a background.


See also

Contre-jour is French for against daylight, referring to photographs taken when the camera is pointing towards the light source. ... Iconic mudflap girl image The mudflap girl is an iconic silhouette of a scantily-clad buxom female sitting, leaning on her hands, with her hair being blown in the wind. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Silhouettes
  • Silhouette Portraits Master Silhouette Artist Karl Johnson. Order your Silhouette Portrait online.
  • Silhouette Artists List of silhouette artists, both living and historical.
  • GAP Guild of American Papercutters
  • Costume Silhouettes Fashion silhouettes from the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Silhouette Gallery A collection of silhouette style photographs.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Silhouette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (193 words)
A silhouette is a view of an object or scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior.
Most silhouettes are formed by tracing the shadow of the subject and cutting along the resultant outline.
Silhouettes of ships, planes, tanks, and other vessels used by the military are used by soldiers and saliors for recognition purposes.
Shades and Shadow-Pictures: The Materials and Techniques of American Portrait Silhouettes (10348 words)
Alternatively, those silhouettes in which the image is cut from a dark material, usually fl paper, and mounted onto a substrate, such as a heavy cream-colored card, are called "cut-out silhouettes" (fig.
It is also true that cut silhouettes (hollow-cut or cut-out) were more popular in the nineteenth century whereas the earlier silhouettes tended to be painted, often on ivory, and clearly derived from the portrait miniature tradition, especially in England during the first two-thirds of the Georgian Period.
The stamp's placement on the fakes is lower and because the silhouettes are bigger, the stamp is smaller relative to the hollow-cut; on the authentic silhouettes the stamp is as wide as the base of the silhouette.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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