silhouettes


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sil·hou·ette

 (sĭl′o͞o-ĕt′)
n.
1. A drawing consisting of the outline of something, especially a human profile, filled in with a solid color.
2. An outline that appears dark against a light background. See Synonyms at outline.
tr.v. sil·hou·et·ted, sil·hou·et·ting, sil·hou·ettes
To cause to be seen as a silhouette; outline: Figures were silhouetted against the setting sun.

[French, after Étienne de Silhouette (1709-1767), French finance minister.]

silhouettes


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Pictures made by reproducing in one color, usually black, the outline of the model. The traditional outline for the silhouette is a profile likeness, although in the nineteenth century, the clothing was often included so that the artist’s skill could be shown in depicting the frill and flounces of contemporary fashion.
References in classic literature ?
When Izz Huett and Tess arrived at the scene of operations only a rustling denoted that others had preceded them; to which, as the light increased, there were presently added the silhouettes of two men on the summit.
By this time they had passed beyond Frome's earshot and he could only follow the shadowy pantomime of their silhouettes as they continued to move along the crest of the slope above him.
Then I heard midnight pealing out from Pyrford Church behind me, and then came the silhouette of Maybury Hill, with its tree- tops and roofs black and sharp against the red.
and by the lightning flashes I saw the black bulk of the overturned dog cart and the silhouette of the wheel still spinning slowly.
The rows of tall Lombardy poplars down its lane stood out in stately, purple silhouette against the sky.
I turned; at my elbow stood a tall man, young, though probably five or six years older than I--in other respects of an appearance the opposite to common place; though just now, as I am not disposed to paint his portrait in detail, the reader must be content with the silhouette I have just thrown off; it was all I myself saw of him for the moment: I did not investigate the colour of his eyebrows, nor of his eyes either; I saw his stature, and the outline of his shape; I saw, too, his fastidious-looking RETROUSSE nose; these observations, few in number, and general in character (the last excepted), sufficed, for they enabled me to recognize him.
In silhouette against the sky, the profile of the horse was cut with the sharpness of a cameo; it looked across the heights of air to the confronting cliffs beyond.
The black silhouette of Gow with his top hat and spade passed the window, dimly outlined against the darkening sky.
The top of one pinnacle took the shapely, clean-cut form of a rabbit's head, in the inkiest silhouette, while it rested against the moon.
The tree-tops rose against the luminous blue sky in inky silhouette, and all below that outline melted into one formless blackness.
I remember vividly the flickering light, his queer, broad head in silhouette, the dance of the shadows, how we all followed him, puzzled but incredulous, and how there in the laboratory we beheld a larger edition of the little mechanism which we had seen vanish from before our eyes.
And opening the window of his cell he pointed out with his finger the immense church of Notre-Dame, which, outlining against the starry sky the black silhouette of its two towers, its stone flanks, its monstrous haunches, seemed an enormous two-headed sphinx, seated in the middle of the city.