Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

[from the Italian caricare, ‘to load, exaggerate’] - A form of art, usually portraiture, in which the characteristic features of the subject are exaggerated or distorted for comic effect. The Bolognese artist Annibale Carracci (1560–1609) is normally credited with its invention at the end of the 16th century. He justified it as a counterpart to idealization—just as the serious artist penetrated to the idea behind outward appearances, so the caricaturist portrayed his victim as if Nature had wholly had her way.

Text source: The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Art Terms (2nd Edition) by Michael Clarke

Do you know someone who would love this resource? Tell them about it...