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-1430436
in 
and Art. 
Literature 
49 
 
ecclefiaftical and to the domeltic architecture of the middle ages. After 
the workmen themfelves had become Chrillians, they Ilill found pagan 
emblems and figures in their models, and ltill went on imitating them, 
fometimes merely copying, and at others turning them to caricature or 
burlefque. And this tendency continued fo long, that, at a much later 
date, where there {till exilted remains of Roman buildings, the mediaeval 
architects adopted them as models, and did not hefitate to copy the 
fculpture, although it might be evidently pagan in character. The 
accompanying cut (No. 25) reprefents a bracket in the church of Mont 
Majour, near Nifmes, built in the tenth century. The fubject is a 
monllrous head eating a child, and we can hardly doubt that it was really 
intended for a caricature on Saturn devouring one of his children. 
Sometimes the mediaeval fculptors miflook the emblematical detigns 
of the Romans, and mifapplied them, and gave an allegorical meaning to 
that which was not intended to be emblematical or allegorical, until the 
fubjects themfelves became extremely confufed. They readily employed 
that clafs of parody of the ancients in whichianimals were reprefented 
performing the actions of men, and they had a great taite for monfters 
of every defcription, efpecially thofe which were made up of portions of 
incongruous animals joined together, in contradiction to the precept of 
Horace  
Humano mpiti cer-uiczm fidor equinam 
jungerzj 've1i!, et -varias inducer: jalumas, 
Undiquz mllali: membris, ut turpiter atrum 
Definer in pzfcem mulierjbrmqllz fuperne; 
SpeZ'7atum admfji rffum tmeatix, amici ? 
The mediaeval architeets loved fuch reprefentations, always and in all 
parts, and examples are abundant. At Como, in Italy, there is a very 
ancient and remarkable church dedicated to San Fedele (Saint Fidelis); it 
has been confidered to be of fo early a date as the fifth century. The 
fculptures that adorn the doorway, which is triangular-headed, are 
efpecially intereiling. On one of thefe, reprefented in our cut No. 26, 
in a compartment to the left, appears a figure of an angel, holding in one 
hand a dwarf figure, probably intended for a child, by a lock of his hair, 
H and
        

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