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Caricature Paintings

Caricature is a style of portrait that shows the personality of the sitter in an exaggerated, humorous manner. It is unusual to see a painting that literally is a caricature; however, many painters have created caricatures in pencil or crayon.

In Milan, Archimbaldo (1527-1593) composed humorous portraits of noble people, painting them as constructed out of fruit and vegetables. These were an early form of caricature. In England, James Gillray (1756-1815) was a leading English caricaturist in the days of George III and Napoleon. His style of exaggerating defining features of characters as well as social and political situations is an influence on caricature artists today.

Francisco Goya (1746-1828) was a leading caricaturist in Spain. His dark imagery shows the impact of the re-instatement of the Spanish Inquisition, and of years of war. In France, Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) were two social realist artists who captured personalities in painting in a caricature-influenced manner. Across the Atlantic, American caricaturist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) invented the elephant and donkey symbols for the two political parties.

Quick Facts

  • Bonhams London sold a James Gillray etched caricature of Admiral Richard Earl Howe, "A French Hail Storm, -- or -- Neptune loosing sight of the Brest Fleet," 1793, for £1,250 on June 24, 2015
  • Doyle New York sold a collection of thirty caricatures by Vincenzo Zito (1900-1966) for $6,250 on September 16, 2014
  • Christie’s London sold a collection of 54 engraved political caricatures, including one by James Gillray, for £21,250 on June 9, 2015

Recommended Items at Auction

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C.1930 Greatest Boxers Caricature Painting
Apr 24, 10:00 AM EDT
C.1930 Greatest Boxers Caricature Painting
by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$502 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Caricature Paintings

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers

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