I arranged this virtual studio day as a tribute to the automaton known as Prosopographus
Silhouette cutting takes place online. All my studio days consist of a series of 10-minute portrait sittings, which take place over Zoom.
After booking your sitting(s) you’ll receive an email ticket containing a Zoom link and further information. I’ll also send a reminder shortly before the event.
On the day you’ll be asked to log in to the Zoom event two minutes before the time you chose. I’ll cut silhouettes of you and your family and pop them in the post afterwards.
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What was Prosopographus?
Prosopographus was an automaton created by an artist called Charles Hervé in the early 1820s. It was a small well-dressed mechanical figure which sat on table holding a tablet in one hand. In the other hand it held a stylus with which it drew outlines onto the tablet. The owner claimed Prosopographus could draw a human profile more accurately than any “mere artisan”.
Was this true? If so it was really a mechanical wonder! Or was it all some pseudo-scientific, nineteenth-century fraud? Whatever the answer, Prosopographus was a huge success and made Charles Hervé into a wealthy man. Sadly, neither the machine nor any working drawings of it survive, so it’s impossible to say.
Studio Day Tributes
This Studio Day is a tribute to Prosopographus. As a self-taught artist Charles owes a huge debt to the work of past silhouettists – he has leaned so much from studying their work – so naming studio days after them is his way to pay tribute.
Charles normally cuts silhouette in his own style (there are many examples all over this website). However, if you’d like your portraits cut in the manner of this artist please do ask. Such challenges are always welcome!