The term "silhouette" is attributed to a man named Etienne de Silhouette, a finance minister living in France during the mid-18th century. One of Etienne’s favorite hobbies was to create small and detailed images for friends and family using only scissors and paper. The art form's relatively cheap cost and few required supplies only encouraged Etienne’s enthusiasm for silhouette art and portraits. (He was a finance manager, after all!)
The invention of the camera in 1816 caused a decline in popularity for silhouette portraits. However, there has recently been a resurgence of admiration for the art -- so why not try your hand at this fun and inexpensive craft?!
Make Your Own Silhouette Portraits
Fort Bend Museum Staff