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

of Caricature 
H173" 3' 
manulcript, preferved in the Britifh Mufeum (MS. Cotton., Tiberius, 
C.  which belongs to the earlier half of the eleventh century, and 
contains a copy of the pfalter. It gives us the Anglo-Saxon notion of the 
demon under another form, equally characteriltic, wearing only a girdle 
of flames, but in this cafe the efpecial Iingularity 
of the defign confifts in the eyes in the fiend's 
Another circumftance had no doubt an in- 
fluence on the mediaeval tafte for grotefque and 
X 1" 7 caricature-the natural rudenefs of early mediaeval 
art. The Writers of antiquity tell us of a remote 
period of Grecian art when it was neceifary to 
L Q write under each Hgure of a picture the name of 
 what it was intended to reprefent, in order to 
make the Whole intelligible-" this is a horfe," 
A ill " this is a man," " this is a tree." Without being 
I R quite fo rude as this, the early mediaeval artilts, 
[K fl lllll through ignorance of perfpetilive, want of know- 
 ledge of proportion, and of ikill in drawing, 
X found great difficulty in reprefenting a fcene in 
which there was more than one figure, and in 
which it was neceffary to diitinguith them from 
each other; and they were continually trying to 
help themfeives by adopting conventional forms 
K ) or conventional politions, and by fometimes adding 
Na 304 mm fymbols that did not exactly reprefent what they 
meant. The exaggeration in form confifted 
chiefly in giving an undue prominence to fome characteriftic feature, 
which anfwered the fame purpofe as the Anglo-Saxon nickname and dif- 
tinclive name, and which is, in fact, one of the fir-It principles of all cari- 
cature. Conventional pofitions partook much of the character of 
conventional forms, but gave {till greater room for grotefque. Thus the 
verytiril characteriftics of mediaeval art implied the exiftence of caricature, 
and no. doubt led to the tatte for the grotefque. The effect of this 


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