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

of Caricature 
Berger, would lead us to fuppoie that this over-energetic action was 
confidered as part of the character of comic acting. 
The Ihbject of the Roman mafks is the more interefting, becaufe they 
were probably the origin of many of the grotefque faces fo often met 
with in mediaeval fculpture. The comic malk was, indeed, a very popular 
object among the Romans, and appears to have been taken as fyrnbolical 
of everything that was droll and burlefque. From the comic fcenes of 
the theatre, to which it was firit appropriated, it paifed to the popular 
feitivals of a public character, fuch as the Lupercalia, with which, no 
doubt, it was carried into the carnival of the middle ages, and to our 
mafquerades. Among the Romans, alfo, the ufe of the malk foon paifed 
from the public feftivals to private (upper parties. Its ufe was fo common 
that it became a plaything among children, and was fome-times ufed as a 
bugbear to frighten them. Our cut No. I6, taken from a painting at 
Retina, reprefents two cupids playing with a maii-:, and ufing it for this 
latter purpofe, that is, to frighten one another; and it is curious that the 
mediaeval glofs of Ugutio explains larva, a matk, as being an image, 
" which was put over the face to frighten chi1dren."" The maik thus 
became a favourite ornament, efpecially on lamps, and on the antefixa 
terrendos parvos." 
(Ugurio, ap_


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