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J. Perelman
"Entertaining physics". Book 1.
Chapter 7. Rays of light

CAUGHT THE SHADOW

Oh, shadow, shadow black,
Who haven't you catch up?
Who does not surpass?
You only shadow black
You cannot catch - hug!

Nekrasov

Our forefathers were able if not to catch your shadow, you can benefit from them: using the shadows drawing “silhouettes” - a shadow image of the human figure.

In our days thanks to the pictures everyone has the opportunity to get your portrait or capture features dear to him. But in the eighteenth century people were not so happy: portraits commissioned artists, was worth a lot of money and were available only to a few. That's why it is so widespread were the silhouettes: to a certain extent they replaced the then contemporary photography. Silhouettes - caught and fixed shade. They worked mechanically and in this respect resemble the opposite of their photography. We use light , our ancestors for the same goal enjoyed his no - shadow.

As zarisovyval silhouettes, it is clear from the following figure.


The old way of getting a silhouette portraits.

The head was turned so that the shadow gave a characteristic profile, and was fortified by her pencil outlines. Then the path was flooded with ink, cut out and pasted on white paper; the silhouette is ready. Optionally reduced by using a special device - the pantograph.


Reduction silhouette portrait.

Do not think that a simple dark outline can give idea about the characteristic traits of the original. On the contrary, a good silhouette is different sometimes striking resemblance to the original.

This feature of the shadow image when the simplicity of the contours to give resemblance to the original is interested in some of the artists who began to draw like that whole scenes, landscapes, etc., Gradually drawing silhouettes created a whole school of artists.


Silhouette Schiller (1790).

Curious origin of the word “silhouette”: it is borrowed from the name of the French Minister of Finance in the mid-eighteenth century, Etienne de Silhouette, calling their wasteful contemporaries to reasonable frugality and precollege French know in excessive spending on paintings and portraits. The cheapness of shadow portraits gave rise to jokers to call them portraits a la Silhouette” (“Silhouette”).

Entertaining physics J. Perelman

 




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