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The Origins of Caricatura


By the late 1500s, painting and sculpture represented the human form based a set of classical proportions. Artists began to experiment with distortion to enhance the mood or meaning of their work. They worked with theorists and scientists, illustrating formal studies on the relationship of external appearances and character.

One artist during this period, Annibale Caracci, created caricatures that were among the first to use exaggeration as a means of portraying the personality of a subject. He has been credited as the inventor of the term caricatura, from the Latin caricare, which means "to load or charge." In 1646 caricatura first appeared in print as part of a preface written by the house master to Pope Urban VII. Two years later it appeared in a text written by the sculptor and architect, Gianlorenzo Bernini.

To be continued ...