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-1430319
in 
Literature 
and Art. 
I 
deity, but its attributes are not difiinguifhable. The latt figure to the 
right has a robe, or mantle, of two colours, red and green, and holds in 
his hand a branch of a lily, or fome fimilar plant; the reft of the picture 
is loft. Behind the other figure Itands a Fifth, who appears younger and 
more refined in character than the others, and feems to be ordering or 
directing them. His drefs is red.  
We can have no doubt that political and perfonal caricature flourifhed 
among the Romans, as we have fome examples of it on their works of 
art, chiefly on engraved ftones, though thefe are mofily of a character we 
could not here conveniently introduce; but the fame rich mine of Roman 
art and antiquities, Pompeii, has furnifhed us with one fample of What 
may be properly conlidered as a political caricature. In the year 59 of the 
Chriilian era, at a gladiatorial exhibition in the amphitheatre of Pompeii, 
where the people of N uceria were prefent, the latter expreffed themfelves 
in fuch fcornful terms towards the Pompeians, as led to a violent quarrel, 
which was followed by a pitched battle between the inhabitants of the 
two towns, and the Nucerians, being defeated, carried their complaints 
before the reigning emperor, Nero, who gave judgment in their favour, 
and condemned the people of Pompeii to fufpenfion from all theatrical 
arnufements for ten years. The feelings of the Pompeians on this occahon 
are difplayed in the rude drawing reprefented in our cut No. 23, which 
is fcratched on the platter of the external wall of a houfe in the ftreet to 
which the Italian antiquarians have given the name of the fireet ot 
Mercury. A figure, completely armed, his head covered with what might 
be taken for a rnediaeval helmet, is defcending what appear to be intended 
for the fteps of the amphitheatre. He carries in his hand a palm-branch, 
the emblem of victory. Another palm-branch Frauds erect by his fide, 
and underneath is the infcription, in rather ruftic Latin, "CAMPANI 
VICTORIA VNA CVM NVCERINIS PERISTIS  O Campa- 
nians, you perithed in the victory together with the Nucerians." The 
other fide cf the picture is more rudely and haftily drawn. It has been 
fuppoied to reprefent one of the victors dragging a prifoner, with his arms 
bound, up a ladder to a ftage or platform, on which he was perhaps to be 
exhibited to the jeers of the populace. Four years after this event, 
Pompeii
        

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