50+ Examples of Some Amazing Funny Caricatures and History of Caricatures

A caricature can refer to a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness.

In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.


History of Caricatures

Some of the earliest caricatures are found in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, who actively sought people with deformities to use as models.[citation needed]

The point was to offer an impression of the original which was more striking than a portrait. Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), one of the great early practitioners, was favored by the members of the papal court for his ability to depict the essence of a person in ‘three or four strokes.'[citation needed] In fact, the word "caricature" comes from the Italian caricare, "to load", thus the caricaturist’s aim is to invest his image with as much meaning as possible.

Caricature, therefore, experienced its first successes in the closed aristocratic circles of France and Italy, where the such portraits could be passed about for mutual enjoyment.


James Gillray’s The Plumb-pudding in danger (1805), which caricatured Pitt and Napoleon, was voted the most famous of all UK political cartoons.

The first book on caricature drawing to be published in England was Mary Darly’s A Book of Caricaturas (c. 1762). The two greatest practitioners of the art of caricature in 18th-century Britain were Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827) and James Gillray (1757–1815). Rowlandson was more of an artist and his work took its inspiration mostly from the public at large. Gillray was more concerned with the vicious visual satirisation of political life. They were, however, great friends and caroused together in the pubs of London. See the Tate Gallery’s exhibit James Gillray: The Art of Caricature.

Nowadays, caricature artists are popular attractions at many places frequented by tourists, especially oceanfrontboardwalks, where vacationers can have a humorous caricature sketched in a few minutes for a small fee. Caricature artists can be a great interactive form of entertainment for parties, where they will draw caricatures of the guests for their entertainment.

List of Caricaturists

Some Great Example of Caricatures

Charles Chaplin
William Butler Yeats
Alfred Hitchcock
Sigmund FREUD

Notable caricaturists

George Cruikshank (1792-1878, British) created political prints that attacked the royal family and leading politicians (in 1820 he received a royal bribe of £100 for a pledge “not to caricature His Majesty (George III of the United Kingdomin any immoral situation.”[citation needed] He went on to create social caricatures of British life for popular publications such as The Comic Almanack (1835-1853) and Omnibus (1842). He also earned fame as a book illustrator for Charles Dickens and many other authors.

Honoré Daumier (1808-1879, French) is considered by some to be the father of caricature.[citation needed] During his life, he created over 4,000 lithographs, most of them caricatures on political, social and everyday themes. They were published in the daily French newspapers (Le Charivari, La Caricature etc.)

Thomas Nast (1840-1902, American) was a famous caricaturist and editorial cartoonist in the 19th century and is considered by some to be the father of American political cartooning.[citation needed] He is often credited with creating the definitive caricatures of the Democratic Donkey, the Republican Elephant and Santa Claus.[citation needed]

Sir Max Beerbohm (1872-1956, British), created and published caricatures of the famous men of his own time and earlier. His style of single-figure caricatures in formalized groupings was established by 1896 and flourished until about 1930. His published works include Caricatures of Twenty-five Gentlemen (1896), The Poets’ Corner (1904) and Rossetti and His Circle (1922). He published widely in fashionable magazines of the time, and his works were exhibited regularly in London at the Carfax Gallery (1901-8) and Leicester Galleries (1911-57).

Alex Gard (1900-1948, Russian) created more than 700 caricatures of show business celebrities and other notables for the walls of Sardi’s Restaurant in the theater district of New York City: the first artist to do so. Today the images are part of the Billy Rose Theatre Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts[3]

Al Hirschfeld (1903–2003, American) was best known for his simple black and white renditions of celebrities and Broadway stars which utilized flowing contour lines over heavy rendering. He was also known for depicting a variety of other famous people, from politicians musicians, singers and even television stars like the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He has was even commissioned by the United States Postal Service to provide art for U.S. stamps. Permanent collections of Hirschfeld’s work appear at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and he boasts a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Mort Drucker (1929, American) Drucker joined Mad magazine in 1957 and has become well known (and revered by some) for his parodies of moviesand television shows. He manages to combine a comic strip style with consistent photographic likenesses of film and TV stars panel after panel. He has also contributed covers to Time magazine. He has been recognized for his work with the National Cartoonist Society Special Features Award for 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1988, and their Reuben Award for 1987.

Robert Risko (1946, American) is known for his retro airbrush style. His work has appeared in Rolling StonePlayboyVanity FairEsquire, andInterview.

David Levine (1926, American) is noted for his caricatures in the The New York Review of Books and Playboy magazine. His first cartoons appeared in 1963. Since then he has drawn hundreds of pen-and-ink caricatures of famous writers and politicians for the newspaper.

Sam Viviano (1953, American) has done much work for corporations and in advertising, having contributed to Rolling StoneFamily Weekly,Reader’s DigestConsumer Reports, and Mad, of which he is currently the art director. Viviano’s caricatures are known for their wide jaws, which Viviano has explained is a result of his incorporation of side views as well as front views into his distortions of the human face. He has also developed a reputation for his ability to do crowd scenes. Explaining his twice-yearly covers for Institutional Investor magazine, Viviano has said that his upper limit is sixty caricatures in nine days.

Sebastian Krüger (1963, German) is known for his grotesque, yet hyper-realistic distortions of the facial features of celebrities, which he renders primarily in acrylic paint, and for which he has won praise from The Times. He is well known for his lifelike depictions of The Rolling Stones, in particular, Keith Richards. Krüger has published three collections of his works, and has a yearly art calendar from Morpheus International. Krüger’s art can be seen frequently in Playboy magazine and has also been featured in the likes of SternL’EspressoPenthouse, and Der Spiegel and USA Today. He has recently been working on select motion picture projects.

Hermann Mejia (Venezuelan) is known for his frequent work for MAD Magazine. Mejia uses multiple techniques for his work, sometimes rendering his illustrations in black & white ink and copious amounts of cross-hatching, sometimes using watercolor, and sometimes combinations of both.

More Examples of Caricatures

CaricatureLe CORBUSIER
CaricatureFlorence & John
CaricatureJason Seiler
CaricatureAlan Shearer
CaricatureKevin Keegan
CaricatureMike Ashley
CaricatureRiddick Bowe
CaricatureDawn French
CaricatureOzzy & Sharon Osborne
CaricatureVictoria & David Beckham
CaricatureMick & Moira
CaricatureSteve Austin
CaricatureSteve Bates
CaricatureTony G
CaricatureMike Ashley
CaricatureCaricature powerhouse, Jason Seiler
CaricatureDarren Foreman, better known as Beardyman – UK beatbox champion
CaricatureMichael Cera
CaricatureLarry King
CaricatureSalvador DALI
CaricatureParis Hilton
CaricatureMarilyn Manson
CaricatureKanye West
CaricatureManny Pacquiao
CaricatureRobert Pattinson
CaricatureCate Blanchett as Elizabeth
CaricatureJuan Gatmaitan
CaricatureFerdinand Marcos
CaricatureMarilyn MANSON
CaricatureAdrien BRODY
CaricatureMichael Clurke DUNCAN
CaricatureGerard DEPARDIEY
CaricatureFrodo from LOTR
CaricatureJD from Scrubs
CaricatureBruce Lee
CaricatureJohn Locke from LOST

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