oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Die silhoe t: van portretkuns to volkskuns

Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



The art of silhouette-making flourished in Europe from 1750 to 1840 but disappeared from the scene after the advent of photography: The silhoueue portrait was an inexpensive, quick type of portraiture practised by many artists and amateurs. The art form reached a zenith in Germany but was very popular in England, France and the Netherlands as well. In the course of time genre silhoueues, where groups of people were placed in shadow image against a painted background, developed into colourful folk-art paintings. A few examples of this unusual art form found in South Africa are discussed.

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