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August 7, 2010

Origins of the Caricature

Filed under: cartoon caricatures — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 1:41 pm

We are all familiar with caricature cartoons as they often appear in newspapers and magazines to illustrate a feature, but did you know that this art form dates back more than two thousand years? When the ruins of Pompeii were uncovered, the people whose logged in the details of the artefacts on the site discovered a caricature of what is thought to be a local politican from that period. This drawing can be dated to around the sixth century BC, so it’s clear that caricature portraits have been a popular way to portray people for a long time.

Caricature cartoons focus on a persons features and exagerrate them, often for comic effect. You only have to think back to the cartoons of Steve Bell in the Guardian newspaper to see how powerful this can be. During the latter years of the Thatcher government, Bell portrayed the Prime Minister as some kind of wild eyed ogre, concentrating on the eyes and nose as he drew his cartoon caricatures. After Thatcher was ousted, Bell turned his pen on John Major, and the caricature portraits showed him with an exagerrated top lip and of course, his underpants which were worn over his trousers. Cartoon caricatures can be cruel, especially when political figures are depicted, but they can also make an ideal gift for a friend or loved one. Charlies Cartoons can provide you with personalised caricatures for any occasion, so have a look at their website and see what they have to offer.

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