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Thread: Silhouette Portraits

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    Silhouette Portraits

    Is it possible to classify these historic images?

    The first three are Jane Austen, George Washington and Ben Franklin.

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    I have strong doubts that these silhouettes are accurate profile representations of the actual persons they are associated with.

    For example, the profile of Washington appears to be a caricature. I have never seen an absolutely vertical forehead as in Austen's case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvbeleg View Post
    I have strong doubts that these silhouettes are accurate profile representations of the actual persons they are associated with.
    From what I have read of this medium the artist would place the sitter in the direct path of a strong beam of light. On the opposite side of the sitter is the wall or pedestal supporting the canvas, onto which the beam of light projects the subject's profile image in the form of a shadow. The artist will then take a pencil and trace the outline of the sitter's shadow onto the canvas. This was the most popular method. Another way was for the artist to simply sketch the profile without the shadow method.

    You are right, though. Washington does appear like a caricature, the nose in particular. Obviuosly there were silhouete artists that were superior to others, or had less of a sense of humor. I just thought that at least some generalized impression could be made of them.

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