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

0f Caricature 
and with the other hand directing his attention to a feated figure in the 
compartment below. This latter figure has apparently the head of a 
fheep, and as the head is furrounded with a large nimbus, and the right hand 
is held out in the attitude of benediction, it may be intended to reprefent 
the Lamb. This perfonage is feated on fomething which is difhcult to make 
out, but which looks fomewhat like a crab-fifh. The boy in the com- 
partment above carries a large bafin in his arms. The adjoining compart- 
ment to the right contains the reprefentation of a conflict between a 
dragon, a winged ferpent, and a winged fox. On the oppofite tide of the 
door, two winged monitors are reprefented devouring a Iamb's head. I 
owe the drawing from which this and the preceding engraving were made 
to my friend Mr. John Robinfon, the architect, who made the tketches 
while travelling with the medal of the Royal Academy. Figures of 
dragons, as ornaments, were great favourites with the peoples of the 
Teutonic race ; they were creatures intimately wrapped up in their 
national mythology and romance, and they are found on all their artifiic 
monuments mingled together in grotefque forms and groups. When the 
Anglo-Saxons began to ornament their books, the dragon was continually 
introduced for ornamental borders and in forming initial letters. One of 
the latter, from an Anglo-Saxon manufcript of the tenth century (the 
well-known manufcript of Caedmon, where it is given as an initial V), is 
reprefented in our cut on the next page, No. 27. 
Caricature and burlefque are naturally intended to be heard and feen 
publicly, and would therefore be figured on fuch monuments as were 
molt expofed to popular gaze. Such was the cafe, in the earlier periods 
of the middle ages, chiehy with ecclefiallical buildings, which explains 
how they became the grand receptacles of this clafs of Art. We have 
few traces of what may be termed comic literature among our Anglo- 
Saxon forefathers, but this is fully explained by the circumltance that 
very little of the popular Anglo-Saxon literature has been preferved. In 
their feftive hours the Anglo-Saxons feem to have efpecially amufed 
themfelves in boafiing of what they had done, and what they could do; 
and thefe boafcs were perhaps often of a burlefque charafter, like the 
gabs of the French and Anglo-Norman romancers of a later date, or fo 


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