Monday, February 25, 2013

85. Vintage PHILIPPINE SILHOUETTES


 Souvenir from the 1953 Philippine
International Fair.
Silhouette by R Marcelino




The name "silhouette" was derived from an unpopular character named Etienne de Silhouette, the controller general of France in 1757 and a regular shadow cutter himself. Since then, the term was applied to anything cheap or makeshift, though the art of shadow cutting had preceded this character by hundreds of years on the European continent.

Producing silhouettes has been an inexpensive means of obtaining a portrait since the materials required are readily available. Miniature profiles are cut out of black paper and mounted on white backgrounds, or cut from white paper and the hollow mounted on dark cloth or black paper.

The coming of the Americans at the turn of the 20th century in the country began the commercial fad and promotion of the silhouette. Despite the initial fascination of Filipino consumer-s, there were very few local artists who took the cudgels of specializing in this type of folk art. Some examples of the product as shown below were produced by R. Marcelino at the Manila Carnival grounds since the 1920s until the 1953 International Fair. And another artist named Bernardo practiced his trade at a certain place called Bamboo Grove.

Silhouette souvenir from the 1953 Philippine International Fair. Silhouette by R Marcelino

The craft of paper cutting is not confined to the Philippines. It is universal and as old as the invention of paper. In China, it is called JIANZHI. In India, it is SANJHI; and called BATIK in Indonesia. In Japan, it is combined with paper folding  called MONKIRI. The Jewish names are MIZRACHS and KETUBOT. In Mexico it is PICADO. And in Germany it is SCHERENSHNITIE. In the Philippines, we call it PABALAT AT PALAMUTI, while combined with lantern or parol making. -

By Alex Villaflor, the Silhouettes are from his collection

Silhouette artist Bernardo practiced his trade at a certain place called Bamboo Grove

Silhouette by R. Marcelino

Silhouette Souvenir from the Manila Carnival & Exposition. Circa 1930s

Silhouette Souvenir from the Manila Carnival & Exposition. Circa 1930s

Silhouette by R. Marcelino

Silhouette by R. Marcelino

Silhouette Souvenir from the 1930 Manila Carnival.

A remembrance of the christening of Milagros daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Pedro Vera  Manila Hotel, February 8, 1941. Silhouette by R. Marcelino

A remembrance of the christening of Milagros daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Pedro Vera  Manila Hotel, February 8, 1941. Silhouette by R. Marcelino

A remembrance of the christening of Milagros daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Pedro Vera  Manila Hotel, February 8, 1941. Silhouette by R. Marcelino



1 comment: