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

C a ricczture 
performed in the "Danie Macabre," was of French growth, but the 
grand crufade againlt folly appears to have originated in Germany. 
Sebaflian Brandt was a native of Stralburg, born in 14.58. He ftudied 
in that city and in Bale, became a celebrated profeflor in both thofe 
places, and died at the former in 1520. The " Ship of Fools," which has 
immortalifed the name of Sebaftian Brandt, is believed to have been firft 
publilhed in the year 14.94. The original German text went through 
numerous editions within a few years 5 a Latin tranflation was equally 
popular, and it was afterwards edited and enlarged by Jodocus Badius 
Afcenlius. A French text was no lefs fuccefsful; an Englifh tranflation 
was printed by Richard Pynfon in 1509 ; a Dutch verfion appeared in 
1519. During the iixteenth century, Brandt's " Ship of Fools" was the 
molt popular of books. It confifts of a ferics of bold woodcuts, which 
form its char-aoteriftic feature, and of metrical explanations, written by 
Brandt, and annexed to each cut. Taking his text from the Words of the 
preacher, " Stultorum numerus eft iniinitus," Brandt expofes to the eye, in 
all its lhades and forms, the folly of his contemporaries, and bares to view 
its roots and caufes. The cuts are efpecially interefting as ftriking pictures 
of contemporary manners. The " Ship of Fools " is the great lhip of the 
world, into which the various defcriptions of fatuity are pouring from all 
quarters in boat-loads. The firft folly is that of men who collected great 
quantities of books, not for their utility, but for their rarity, or beauty of 
execution, or rich bindings, fo that we fee that bibliomania had already taken 
its place among human vanities. The fecond clafs of fools were interefted 
and partial judges, who fold juftice for money, and are reprelented under 
the emblem of two fools throwing a boar into a caldron, according to the 
old Latin proverb, Agcre aprum in lebetem. Then come the various follies 
of mifers, fops, dotards, men who are foolilhly indulgent to their children, 
milchief-makers, and defpifers of good advice, of nobles and men in 
power; of the profane and the improvident ; of foolith lovers; of 
extravagant eaters and drinkers, 8zc., 8:0. F ooliih talking, hypocrily, 
frivolous purfuits, ecclefialtical corruptions, impudicity, and a great 
number of other vices as well as follies, are duly palled in review, and are 
reprelented in various forms of fatirical caricature, and fometimes in 


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