Charlie's Cartoons   bespoke cartoons - modern gifts with a humorous twist  

November 10, 2010

Why did people start drawing caricature portraits?

There is a good chance that many of us have seen an artist drawing cartoons and caricatures at a shopping centre or amusement park. Perhaps the person is sitting directly in front of them, or maybe the artist is drawing the caricature from photos. In all these cases it is natural to stop and watch the master at work as he puts the finishing strokes to the caricatures. In history classes, we may even have looked at propaganda posters from the Second World War with caricatures on them.

These days caricatures are even found in magazines and newspapers, so when did this whole phenomenon begin? It seems that they have always been a part of our lives, and the evidence would also seem to suggest this. In fact, they actually date back a few centuries. These pictures were originally introduced by a group of Italian artists called the Carracis.  In fact, this is where the word ‘caricature’ actually originates from. They wanted to capture a piece of the subject’s personality while making them laugh.

Just like today, these drawings were also used as a tool to make a comment about politics or other serious issues. By making the issues more simplified more and more people can understand and enjoy them.  In the same way, they were also used to mock political figures and to carry hidden meanings. So rather than simply drawing something that was plainly mocking somebody, the cartoons were much more clever with their hidden layers of meaning. It is popular now for people to give caricature gifts on special occasions.

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