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

September 18, 2010

History of Caricature

Many of us may be under the impression that caricature is a relatively new art form, but in fact, caricature portraits and personalised caricatures have been produced for centuries to amuse recipients, comment on political events, agitate the public, stimulate the imagination and provoke debate. The word caricature comes from the Italian ‘caricare’ which means ‘to load’ and signifies that fact that, in caricature pictures, the artists loads as many layers of meaning and interpretation as possible into the piece. Caricature gifts may be modern phenomena, but the art of caricature has been around since the time of Leonardo Da Vinci and became prominent in the early eighteenth century.

A caricature artist will exaggerate the natural features of a subject to represent their physical characteristics, clothing, tastes, personality and habits, using insight and artistic skill to produce results which can be both hilarious and profound. In America and the United Kingdom, there is a long established tradition of cartoons and caricatures being used as powerful political media which make witty and incisive comments on the contemporary political climates and prominent public figures.

In these types of caricatures, mockery is used in order to expose public figures to scrutiny and events to examination, and thus, a seemingly trivial technique combines with wit and intelligence to open up serious public debate. Do not worry though; Charlie’s family caricatures and group caricatures only ever use gentle humour and exaggeration to produce touching and unique gifts which will be treasured. Nevertheless, it is evident that Charlie follows a long and illustrious tradition in the art of caricature.

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