Saturday, January 26, 2013

Two Silhouettes, One Hundred Years Apart

Two recent acquisitions.  The first shows a British soldier in profile, WWI vintage.  His head is cut out of black paper and has been glued on the card.  An actual silhouette, in other words.

The second is in turn a representation of a silhouette: the poet Goethe, Werther-like, contemplating the image of a young woman.  The portrait itself is by Georg Melchior Kraus (1737-1806).  Interesting how Goethe always looks like the same person no matter who is drawing or painting him: he must have been a fairly distinctive physical type.  As opposed, say, to Keats, who looks very different from portrait to portrait.  On the (few) Keats images, see the marvelous study Posthumous Keats, by Stanley Plumly.