Caricatures have been a style of art for centuries and are still popularly used in modern newspapers, cartoons and by artists at events. It is a popular style of art as it has an added element of satirical comedy. A caricature of a person is a portrait which exaggerates or distorts a distinctive feature to create an identifiable likeness, in either an insulting or complimentary in their entertainment.

Artists often use caricatures as political expressions of satire. The first artists who published books of their caricature portraits are Mary Darly, George Townshend and Thomas Rowlandson, who all published their works from 1759 to 1827. The most famous political Caricature is argued to be James Gillray and his work ‘The Plumb in the Pudding’ where he depicts Pitt and Napoleon eating in 1805, however caricatures are still a part of politics, with artists drawing political figures in newspapers and cartoon strips. Other political Caricature artists include Alex Gard who worked in the twentieth century, one of the most political times of history.

There are still many modern day Caricature artists and many use computerized caricatures. These computerized versions have software specifically created to warp certain features of the portrait. However many artists have argued against this software, saying that the portraits are unique depending on the artists portrayal therefore computerized versions are not valid caricatures.

In the modern day, apart from political uses, caricatures are still popular for humorous portraits at events and museums have been opened displaying some of the most famous works from across the globe.

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Written by Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones, studying Literature at Portsmouth University, with a passion for all things art and fashion, writer/reader/ editor/ artist/ dedicated shopper. Felicity looks after the Catwalk Yourself Art Dictionary.

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