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

2 Hmory of Caricature and Grotqfgue 
logy, written by the divine Plato, tells us how, when the Graces fought 
a temple which would not fall, they found the foul of Ariflophanes  
On the other hand, the men who never laughed, the rlyehaurot, were 
looked upon as the leaft refpectable of mortals. 
A tendency to burlefque and caricature appears, indeed, to be a feeling 
deeply implanted in human nature, and it is one of the earlieil talents 
difplayed by people in a rude {tate of fociety. An appreciation of, and 
fenfitiveneis to, ridicule, and a love of that which is humorous, are found 
even among favages, and enter largely into their relations with their 
fellow men. When, before people cultivated either literature or art, 
the chieftain fat in his rude hall furrounded by his warriors, they amufed 
themfelves by turning their enemies and opponents into mockery, by 
laughing at their  joking on their defects, whether phyiical or 
mental, and giving them nicknames in accordance therewith,-in fact, 
caricaturing them in words, or by telling {tories which were calculated to 
excite laughter. When the agricultural flaves (for the tillers of the land 
were then flaves) were indulged with a day of relief from their labours, 
they fpent it in unreitrained mirth. And when thefe fame people began 
 to erect permanent buildings, and to ornament them, the favourite fub- 
jects of their ornamentation were fuch as prefented ludicrous ideas. The 
warrior, too, who caricatured his enemy in his fpeeches over the feitive 
board, foon fought to give a more permanent form to his ridicule, which 
he endeavoured to do by rude delineations on the bare rock, or on any 
other convenient furface which prefented itlelf to his hand. Thus 
originated caricature and the grotefque in art. In fact, art itfelf, in its 
earlieit forms, is caricature; for it is only by that exaggeration of features 
which belongs to caricature, that untkilful draughtfmen could make 
themfelves underftood.  
Although we might, perhaps, find in different countries examples of 
thefe principles in different Rates of development, we cannot in any one 
country trace the entire courfe of the development itfelf: for in all the highly 


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