I came across the term “sillyette” on a site this evening. I thought it would lead me to some new odd art. It didn’t. Instead I wandered into an old art, silhouettes. Peggy McClard has a little history, here’s part of it.

Originally called “Profile Shades” or “Shadows” in England, the French coined the term à la Silhouette as a derogatory reference to Louis XV’s former French Minister of Finance, Etienne de Silhouette, who was considered a cheapskate. When de Silhouette left his government position, he reputedly retired to a farmhouse which he decorated with home-made paper cuttings. In the 19th century, the great master cutter Edouart felt that the term “shade” was derogatory to his art and began using the term “silhouettist” to describe himself. The term became popular and carried forward to today.

I’m sure there are things I can do with silhouettes. I will add that to the creative morass in my brain.

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