Life in Newburgh on Ythan

By Talpa


Here, at the risk of appearing too fond of my own image, are silhouettes of Talpa, aged 8.

A silhouette portrait can be painted or drawn. However, the traditional method of creating silhouette portraits is to cut them from lightweight black cardboard, and mount them on a white background. This was the work of specialist artists, often working out of booths at fairs or markets, or in my case on the pier at Blackpool. A traditional silhouette portrait artist could cut the likeness of a person, freehand, within a few minutes.

The word "silhouette" commemorates Étienne de Silhouette, French finance minister who, in 1759 during the Seven Years War, was forced to impose severe economic demands upon the French people. Because of de Silhouette's austere economies, his name became synonymous with anything done or made cheaply and so with these outline portraits. Just the thing for our own  increasingly difficult and uncertain times.

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