Caricature
(965 words)

The caricature is an art form of amusement and pictorial wit. The word caricatura (from Italian caricare, ‘to exaggerate,’ ‘to overload’) originally referred to an exaggerated imitation of nature in the portrait. In caricature, the artist demonstrates quickness of design, graphic skill, and pictorial wit. As a situational work of art, a caricature is primarily a domain of drawing. Until the 18th century, caricatures circulated in private or semi-public circles, and were not used in graphic reproduction. Early caricatures should therefore not be seen a…

Cite this page
Kanz, Roland, “Caricature”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 June 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_021965>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907



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