Caricature Types

By Mel Candea ; Updated September 15, 2017
Caricatures are basic ideas that reflect the moment.

Caricatures have been a part of humor and a reflection of human behavior for centuries. The simple lines manage to capture personalities into easily recognizable drawings. They've been used to mock, to tease, to compliment and to entertain. Here are the different types of caricatures used through the years.

The Original Caricature

The first caricatures were created by Italian artists. According to the Gombrich Archive, amateur artists challenged each other to take what was considered to be beautiful art, such as Renaissance portraiture, and show the personality with just a few pen strokes. The idea was inspired by the Italian artists, the Carracis, after whom the word caricature is named.

Satirical Caricatures

Satirical caricatures were inspired by from politics. The posters and fliers mock the opposing viewpoint, make political statements and are crude or impolite. Satirical caricatures exaggerate either the strongest or the weakest features of the person, typically a politician.

Grotesque Caricatures

Grotesque caricatures make fun of abstract ideas and abstract art. The idea behind "the grotesque" is to over-complicate the simplified. The images are often tongue-in-cheek, or very ironic. They take iconic ideas that are dream-like standards, and twist the images. An easily recognizable painting gets either reversed or slightly modified to create humor.

Modern Caricature

Modern caricature started in the 1940s and went into a new direction: It was tasteful and sometimes not just artistic but beautiful. The function of the latest caricatures aren't just as humor, but as an art movement in their own right. The ISCA (International Society of Caricature Artists) was created by Wallace "Buddy" Rose in 1989. Many of today's caricature artists do impromtu art on the street or for gatherings.

About the Author

Mel Candea has been writing for 15 years, with a B.L.A. acquired in-between. She has been published in several magazines, including "Harriet" and "Everyguys." Her online work has been extensive, with experience in copywriting, creative writing and researching.