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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Garden Silhouette

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas AUGUST. 16, 2020

[11-365] 16th August 2020- There is a high stone wall around my front garden, covered in ivy. On the other side of the wall is a telegraph pole, which has an anchor wire that is rooted in my garden. I thought it would be nice to grow some sort of climbing plant up the wire to make use of it, and then someone gave me some Sweet Pea seedlings. They took a little while to get going but now they are headed for the stars. I thought the plant shape made a lovely silhouette against the sky.

The word silhouette is derived from the name of Étienne de Silhouette, a French finance minister who, in 1759, was forced by France's credit crisis during the Seven Years' War to impose severe economic demands upon the French people, particularly the wealthy. Because of de Silhouette's austere economies, his name became synonymous with anything done or made cheaply and so the name attached to cheap outline portraits. Prior to the advent of photography, silhouette profiles cut from black card were the cheapest way of recording a person's appearance.

So here is a photo pretending to be a cheap paper cutout, that was pretending to be a painted picture. Imagine being a finance minister of a great country and to live in eternity with your name remembered for a cheap paper cutout. The ignominy.


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