Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

of Caricature 
fome pigmy Alexander returning from his couquelts. The hero IS feated 
on a throne carried by an elephant, and before him a bird, perhaps a 
vanquiihed crane, proclaims loudly his praife. Before them a pigmy 
attendant marches proudly, carrying in one hand the olive branch of 
peace, and leading in the other a ponderous but captive ottrich, as a 
trophy of his maPter's vietories. Before him again a pigmy warrior, 
heavily armed with battle-axe and falchion, is mounting the [ieps of a 
itage, on which a nondefcript animal, partaking fomewhat of the 
charaeter of a fow, but perhaps intended as a burlefque on the [trange 
animals which, in mediaeval romance, Alexander was faid to have 
encountered in Egypt, blows a horn, to celebrate or announce the return 
of the conqueror. A (nail, alfo advancing {lowly up the Rage, implies, 
perhaps, a fneer at the whole fcene. 
Neverthelefs, thefe old German, Flemifh, and Dutch artiits were (till 
much induenced by the mediaeval fpirit, which they difplayed in their 
coarfe and clumiy imagination, in their negleet of everything like 
congruity in their treatment of the fubjeot with regard to time and 
place, and their naive exaggerations and blunders. Extreme examples of 
thefe charaeteriiiics are fpoken of, in which the Ifraelites crofiing the Red 
Sea are armed with mufkets, and all the other accoutrements of modern 
foldiers, and in which Abraham is preparing to facrifice his fon Ifaac by 
{booting him with a matchlock. In delineating fcriptural fubjeets, an 
attempt is generally made to clothe the figures in an imaginary ancient 
oriental coftume, but the landfcapes are filled with the modern caiiles 
and manfion houfes, churches, and monatteries of weitern Europe. 
Thefe half-mediaeval artilts, too, like their more ancient predeceiTors, 
often fall into unintentional caricature by the exaggeration or Iimplicity 
with which they treat their fubjetits. There was one fubjeft which the 
artifts of this period of regeneration of art feemed to have agreed to 
treat in a very unimaginative manner. In the beautiful Sermon on the 
Mount, our Saviour, in condemning hafty judgments of other people's 
atitions, fays (Matt. vii.  " And why beholdeft thou the mote that 
is in thy brother's eye, but confidereft not the beam that is in thine 
own eye? Or how wilt thou fay to thy brother, Let me pull out the 


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