We arranged this virtual studio day as a tribute to the Irish silhouettist Allenby.
Silhouette cutting takes place online, so no need to worry about masks or social distancing! All our 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.
On the day you’ll be asked to log in to the Zoom event shortly before the time you chose from the list above. Charles will cut silhouettes of you and your family and pop them in the post afterwards.
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What was Allenby?
I’d love to show you a whole gallery of silhouettes by the Irish artist Allenby, but as far as I know nobody has ever seen one!
The only record that he ever lived and worked as a silhouettist comes from two advertisements printed in the Limerick Chronicle in 1840. The first, in June of that year, claims that he’d been making silhouettes for the past thirty three years,.
That’s longer than I’ve been making silhouettes! It indicates a working career beginning in 1807, at the height of the turn-of-the-century ‘craze’ for silhouettes. Allenby’s advertisements also claim that his rooms in various London venues had been crowded with sitters throughout his career. This at least tells us that he worked in England for a while. What it doesn’t tell us is what happened to all his silhouettes!
One explanation is that Allenby never signed his silhouettes, thus making them difficult to attribute and almost worthless. His advertisements indicate that he used “a newly invented Patent Machine” to produce his silhouettes mechanically. There were many such machines in use in the early nineteenth century. They were all designed to produce silhouettes quickly and cheaply so that everybody could afford one.
Have you ever come across a 200-year-old silhouette signed ‘Allenby? If so, do please get in touch.
Studio Day Tributes
We named this Studio Day as a tribute to Allenby. As a self-taught artist Charles owes a huge debt to the work of past silhouettists, so naming studio days like this is a good way to pay tribute to them.
[ More Tributes ]
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 any tributed artist please do ask. Such challenges are always welcome!