The Art Of Make-Up:
Evolution Of "make-up"
What Is "make-up?"
Individuality Submerged In A Clever "make-up"
Application And Removal Of "make-up"
In The Dressing Room
Optical Influence And Delusion Through Lighting Effects
The Make-up Box
Beards And Mustaches
Read More Articles About: The Art Of Make-Up
Evolution Of "Make-Up"
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The origin or inception of the art of "make-up" cannot be recounted with infallible precision, due no doubt to the fact that very little thought was given to this particular practice. The ever-prevailing desire for adorn lent and beautifying as well as an inclination to be unreal seems to be instinctive in human beings from every clime. The use of paints or tains are traceable as far back as about 4500 3 ears ago. The Egyptians at that time practiced he use of green and white paints, concocted in different ways, but most always employing herbs, leaves and bark scraped from tropical trees. They used this paint to change the expression of their faces and eyes. History relates that the Heteras of Greece used make-up. Indians and i he yellow races are known to have painted their faces and bodies when on the warpath in order to instill fear in the enemy. Some people in n Eastern Europe and Asia painted their teeth, nails and eyebrows. Back to the twelfth century, at the extravagant Royal Court of Italy and in France, the frivolous and pleasure-loving people of the court used large quantities of make-up preparations.
While it is not possible to state definitely the time and place of the inauguration of make-up on the stage, an almost reliable account is handed down to us through the tireless pen of historians to the effect that at Greece during holiday festivities in honor of their gods, such as Bacchus, Olympus, Zeus, etc., the participants in the celebrations painted their faces. Unlike our present one-day holiday, the festal days of the Greeks lasted usually for eight or more days, during which young and old from every walk of life enjoyed witnessing the sacrifices, prize-fights and dramatic performances the latter were called mysteries. Phesphis is reported to have given a certain style (form) to those mysteries and is supposed to have been the first to introduce the transformation of the face on the stage.
There was no knowledge of make-up displayed at the antique Theater, because the actors in comedies or tragedies are known to have used masks to give the desired facial expressions and to impersonate the characters of their rôle. To convey an idea of how crude their masquerade really was, it will suffice to relate that the color of the hair was painted on the mask and, when wigs were used, they were attached to the mask and ofttimes a sort of two-in-one mask was used, namely, a crying face in front and a laughing face in the back. The actor wearing th s peculiar and unique double mask would turn to face the audience showing the sad or jovial side in accordance with his cue. Approximately on( thousand years after the era of Christ the mask was not in use on the stage ; thus we find the actors without disguise.
However, "necessity is the mother of invention," and the versatility of the human brain soon conceived ways and means by which a !tors could bring about desired facial changes to suit the portrayal of characters until the fundamifundame were established to that which is to-day cal] d the "art of make-up."
Up to about 1850, there were only three dry colors used, that is, white (chalk), black (burned cork), and vegetable red. This was aollowed by homemade grease paints, produced fr' lm fats and colors. Make-up sticks, now being used, were invented about 1870 and it was that a, Event which revolutionized the art of make-up. Thus were the dangerous dry colors replaced, and continuous, beneficial progress followed. Little do the people of the twentieth century know that the perfection of the good actor's make-up is an accomplishment attained by a due process of evolution that is as near to perfection as present-day range of imaginations will permit.