Past and Present
Pattie A. Purnell
Latonia, Ky 41015

History of Silhouettes

The Silhouette may be as old as mankind. Silhouette pictures depicting such subjects as prehistoric man hunting their animal prey have been found in stone age cave paintings thousands of years ago. 

The art of silhouette cutting originated in Europe in the early 1700's. The royal class would hire a silhouette artist to cut out the distinguished profiles of the elite at extravagant balls. The Silhouette is named after an actual person, Etienne de Silhouette, (1709-1767) the French Minister of Finance who cut profiles from black paper as a hobby. 

In America, silhouettes were popular from about 1790 to 1840. Silhouettes were an inexpensive source of portraiture versus sitting hours for a painted portrait. The invention of the camera signaled the end of the Silhouette as a widespread form of portraiture

Silhouette Portraits Today


The popularity of Silhouettes is being reborn in a new generation of people who appreciate this unique and nostalgic art form that captures a loved one's image.  Let Silhouette Studio do your personal, hand-cut heirloom silhouette portrait. Silhouette artist, Pattie Purnell will make a charming keepsake that will be treasured for generations. Pattie, a lifetime artist has been creating silhouettes for the past twenty years. The portrait is hand-cut on premium silhouette paper and then mounted onto a 5 x 7 card. Oval mats are available along with quality black wooden frames. Mats and frames are specially ordered from Frame USA, a major custom frame shop. 


Silhouette Studio appears at most of the major festivals and fairs in the Greater Cincinnati area such as The Appalachian Festival, Arts Wave Sampler Weekend, The Roebling Fest, Falmouth Wool Festival, Newport Art & Music Festival, Dinsmore Harvest Festival, Big Bone Salt Festival, Sauerkraut Festival, Constitution Square Arts Fest among others. 


  • Private portrait sittings can be scheduled by appointment in the studio

  • Silhouette portraits can also be created from a photograph mailed or emailed to the studio.

  • Schedule a Silhouette Studio artist by the hour to appear at your business event, museum event, child's birthday party, office party, festival, wedding, family reunion, etc. to provide a unique, entertaining addition to your event that your guest will enjoy and take home a special keepsake 


Capture your loved ones in an heirloom silhouette portrait that will be treasured for generations!

© 2016 by CONV3RTED

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