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Caricature

THOMAS KNIEPER


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A caricature is an exaggerated and distorted image of a person or thing, which is characterized by visual likeness, immediate recognizability, and pictorial wit, irony, or satire (→ Visual Representation ). This visual burlesque can be insulting or flattering. It is not uncommon that a caricature offends the sensibilities of a depicted person. Caricatures can serve editorial, illustrative, entertainment, or commercial purposes, as part of political cartoons, illustrations for books and articles, standalone artwork, or use in publicity and advertisements (→ Advertisement, Visual Characteristics of ; Book ; Cartoons ; Political Communication ). Caricatures can be standalone drawings or well-integrated depictions in a broader context. For example, caricatures of politicians can be one part of an editorial cartoon that comments on a political issue (→ Political Media Use ). Etymologically the word “caricature” originates from the Italian verb caricare , which means “loaded” or “overloaded,” and the Italian noun caricatura. The word caricare first appears in Italy around 1600, at the time of the rise of the artistic genre ritrattini carichi (exaggerated pictures). In a preface to the 1646 published collection of etchings of the drawings of Annibale Carracci (1560–1609), it was pointed out that Carracci had employed caricare for sketchy, satirical, and exaggerated portrait ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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