Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Person:
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1429385
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1431393
in 
Literature 
and Art. 
I4-5 
grotefque features, like the grinning through the horfe-collar, gave 
fatisfaction by their mere uglinefs. Even the applications, when fuch 
figures were intended to have one, were coarfely fatirical, without any 
intelleetuality, and, where they had a meaning beyond the plain text of 
the fcuipture or drawing, it was not far-fetched, but plain and eafily 
underttood. When the Anglo-Saxon drew the face of a bloated and 
disfigured monk, he no doubt intended thereby to proclaim the popular 
notion of the general character of monaftic life, but this was a deflgn 
which nobody could mifunderfland, an interpretation which everybody 
was prepared to give to it. We have already feen various examples of 
this defcription of fatire, fcattered here and there among the immenfe 
mats of grotefque fculpture which has no fuch meaning. A great 
proportion, indeed, of thefe grotefque fculptures appears to prefent mere 
variations of a certain number of dittinct types which had been handed 
down from a remote period, fome of them borrowed, perhaps involuntarily, 
from antiquity. Hence we naturally look for the earlier and more 
curious examples of this clafs of art to Italy and the fouth of France, 
where the tranfition from clatlical to mediaeval was more gradual, and 
the continued inlluence of clailical forms is more eaflly traced. The 
early Chriiiian mafons appear to have caricatured under the form of fuch 
grotefques the perfonages of the heathen mythology, and to this practice 
we perhaps owe fome of the types of the mediaeval montters. We have 
feen in a former chapter a grotefque from the church of Monte Majour, 
near Nifmes, the original type of which had evidently been forne 
burlefque figure of Saturn eating one of his children. The claflical 
maik doubtlefs furnilhed the type for thofe figures, fo common in 
rnediaeval fculpture, of faces with difproportionately large mouths; juft 
as another favourite clais of grotefque faces, thofe with diiiended mouths 
and tongues lolling out, were taken originally from the Typhons and 
Gorgons of the ancients. Many other popular types of faces rendered 
artihcially ugly are mere exaggerations of the dittortions produced on the 
features by different operations, fuch, for inftance, as that of blowing 
a horn.  
The praetice of blowing the horn, is, indeed, peculiarly calculated to 
u exhibit
        

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