Wednesday, June 5, 2013


        Marilyn Monroe                                                                 David Tennant                                                                         Amy Winehouse

Wikipedia defines a caricature as "a rendered image showing the features of it's subject in a simplified or exaggerated way."  It is the satirical illustration of a person or thing, differntiating it from a cartoon, which is a satrical illustration of an idea.

The Italian word "caricare", to change or load, is where the term originated.  In essence, a caricature is a "loaded portrait".  According to one source at the School of Visual Arts, the term only refers to representations of real-life people that possess objective sets of physiognomic features to draw upon for reference.  In plain speak, it doesn't apply to inanimate objects like cars and coffee mugs.

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the earliest creators of caricatures..  He used people with deformities as models for the purpose of creating a work more striking than a normal portrait.

One of the first known books on caricature drawing was from the 18th cnetury.  Mary Darly's "A Book of Caricatures",  was published in England in 1762.

British caricaturist, Ted Harrison said, "Drawing caricatures can simply be a form of entertainment and amusement - in which case gentle mockery is in order - or the art can be employed to make a serious social or political point.  A caricaturist draws on 3 aspects.

1)  The natural characteristics of the subject (long nose, big ears)
2)  The acquired characteristics (stoop, scars, facial lines)
3)  The vanities  (hair style, spectacles, expressions, and mannerisms)

Simplifying or exaggerating these characteristics comprises each image and portrays a different dimension of the person or object.


Thomas Nast (1840 - 1902)  Famous American artist considered to be the father of political cartooning.  He is credited with creating the symbols of American political parties - the Democrat donley and the Republican elephant.

Al Hirschfield  (1903 - 2003)  American artist revered for his renditions of celebrities and Broadway stars, as well as politicians, singers, and musicians.  Collections of his work can be found at the Metroplitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Matt Drucker  (1929 -     )  American who gained fame for parodying movie satires.  He's contributed countless covers for Time Magazine and is recognized for his work with the National Cartoonist Society.

Featured above are three of my favorite caricatures.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Cay 47. It's wonderful to see new readers/commentors. Watch for more new and entertaining things to come.

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    1. Hello Jason M. Another new commentor to our blog. Great to hear from you. I hope you continue to follow us and enjoy what we have in store for the future.