A two dimensional, clear-cut depiction of humans and objects without any inner drawing, based on their often artificially created shadow. Silhouettes were produced as ink drawings or paper cuts and mimeographed by means of various printing techniques (mostly as copper engravings or etchings). In Europe, silhouettes followed East-Asian shadow play that was popular in the 17th century. From the early 18th century onward, silhouettes were particularly common among middle-class families as inexpensive portraits. Silhouettes remained popular until the mid 19th century, at that time produced in large numbers by professional artists and aficionados.