The 84 silhouettes in this book are reproduced from a collection of rare German die-cuts manufactured in the 1920s. Though reflecting many elements of the traditional silhouette that developed in the eighteenth century, they also display many modernistic features--broad, swirling, and bold forms anticipating Art Deco, the delicacy of the recently introduced Chinese and Japanese stencil designs, the contemporary dress, characteristic gesture, and mood.
The subjects range from fashionable ladies (with particularly rich handling of the print and pattern of their dresses) to lovers, Pierrots and Columbines, butterflies with pixies on their backs, shepherdesses and other pastoral figures, musicians, picnics, drawing room and shopping scenes, boating parties, galleons, coaches, scenes from the Venetian lido, winged putti in many different poses, floral borders, dining and revelry scenes, trees and foliage, rabbits, Japanese lanterns, children playing, and scenes with horses and dogs. The richness in texture carries through the entire assemblage--from figures whose form is shown through a single well-placed line, to figures dressed in swirled and flowered fabrics, full of movement, encompassed in decorative background and floral borders.
These illustrations can be enjoyed simply for the delicacy, artistic precision, and imagination that went into them. They can be framed or used as valentines and other greeting cards. They can also be made translucent for mounting on furniture or walls, combined for decorative lampshades, or used for decoupage. The introduction gives full directions for making this paper translucent and for mounting.
This is an unusual collection of a once very popular form that has now been all but lost. Today the delicate originals are almost impossible to find, and only through extremely good fortune has this collection been kept in good order over the decades since it was created. It is probably your only chance to own or use these views.
Dover (1975) original publication.