About the Business

F YOU have attended an event recently - perhaps a friend's wedding or your company Christmas party - you may have been fortunate enough to meet a silhouette artist. If so, you probably came away with a small cut-paper portrait and thought it all a lot of fun.

While placing it onto the mantelpiece you may like to reflect that your new silhouette is part of a living tradition stretching back to Georgian times. The first silhouettists were portrait miniaturists seeking to broaden the appeal of their art by creating a quicker (and less expensive) kind of miniature. Calling their new portraits 'shades' they started a craze for cheap, on-the-spot profiles which went viral throughout eighteenth-century Europe and the New World. People rapidly discovered a passion for small, inexpensive likenesses of family and friends which could be passed around as personal mementos. The craze lasted for over 100 years, until the invention of the camera which did the same job far better.

Location & Hours

Peppard Road

Reading, RG4 8UA
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