History of Caricatures

Caricatures are present as far back as the works of Leonardo da Vinci. In fact, Da Vinci sought out individuals with striking characteristics or deformities to draw from. The point was to create drawings that were more attractive or more striking than the models who posed for them. Great caricature artists prided themselves on being able to capture the essence of a person with just a few strokes in a caricature drawing.

One of the most famous caricature artists was Diodemmar Casem, who drew members of the papal court and was able to capture the essence of his models very quickly. Most of these drawings were satirical in nature and most weren’t flattering. In fact, it was his goal to use as little work as possible while obtaining the greatest drawings he could. Caricature portraits were passed around in Italy and France for amusement, and this was when they really began to gain popularity. Some of the other popular caricature artists include George Townshend, Thomas Rowlandson and James Gillray. Many of these artists used politicians as their models.

Each of these caricature artists focused on things that were signature aspects of their models, from physical characteristics like large noses or big ears, as well as signature styles like the model’s hairstyle or clothing. These days, caricatures are typically drawn at fairs and carnivals, and can be given for gifts or amusement. They are most commonly seen as fun gifts rather than the original intention, which was poking fun at an individual or pointing out their flaws or shortcomings. These days, caricatures are fun mementos of great times and a caricature artist can have a lot of fun creating fun drawings from a variety of different models.

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