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Caricature - Arcy Art Original Oil Paintings Art Dictionary

A portrait that exaggerates or distorts the features of a person is called a caricature. It can be insulting or complimentary and is used for political statements as found in editorial cartoons or purely for entertainment as found in entertainment magazines.

Leonardo Da Vinci's drawings show examples of the earliest caricatures for which he used people with deformities as models. The Bolognese painter Annibale Carracci is widely believed to be inventor of caricature as an independent art form. Caricature experienced its first successes in the closed aristocratic circles of France and Italy, where such portraits were passed about for mutual enjoyment. Caricature gained further in popularity in the early 19th century when satirical drawings of politicians and local celebrities were printed in newspapers. After World War I caricature experienced a boom in popularity within the United States with caricatures more common than photographs in some magazines. Today caricatures are still around and recently there has been a rise of caricaturist drawing caricatures on the spot at street corners as well those drawing caricatures from photos over the internet.

Some notable caricature artists include George Cruikshank (1792-1878), Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), Thomas Nast (1840-1902), Al Hirschfeld (1903 – 2003), Mort Drucker (1929 - ), Robert Risko (1946 - ), David Levine (1926 - ) and Sam Viviano (1953 - ), Sebastian Kruger (1963 - ).

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