Tag Archives: caricature

Pope in bed, almost dead

Caricature of Innocent XI (1676) by Bernini

I’ve been furthering my research on the history of caricature, aided by two books: History of Caricature and Grotesque in Literature and Art (1864) by Thomas Wright and Caricature and Other Comic Art (1877) by James Parton, the two earliest Anglophone studies on the subject.

Both mention amusing examples of Roman caricature: the Pygmy caricatures in Pompeii.

Neither mentions the Caricature of Innocent XI (1676) by Bernini (above).

The coarsest drawings in the history of caricature

It is with great pleasure that I present an almost complete set of Abbildung des Papsttums (1545, Representation of the Papacy), a series of nine antipapal caricatures by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Click here for the PDF.

These woodcuts were published in conjunction with the “Against the Papacy at Rome, Founded by the Devil” a anticlerical and anti-Catholic pamphlet by Martin Luther.

The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions that they are “the coarsest drawings that the history of caricature of all times has ever produced.”

The majority of this type of prints during the war between protestants and catholics were produced by protestants, however, there is the fine example of a catholic counter-attack by the depicting ‘Luther as the Devil’s Bagpipes‘.

Needless to say, I find this “coarseness” envigorating and I remember how amused I was when I first read “You should not write a book before you have heard an old sow fart,” another infamous dictum by Luther.

You can find more at Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic and antipapal pamphlets and protestant satire of catholicism.

In case you would like to purchase the set, it will cost €35,000.

There is another world, but it is in this one

Plantes marines, coquillages, madrépores[1] (Aquatic plants, seashells and madrepores) is a plate from Un autre monde (Another world) by French illustrator Grandville (1803 – 1847).

The illustration alludes to man copying the patterns of nature, like crystallization and petrifaction.

The title of this post “There is another world, but it is in this one” is attributed both to W. B. Yeats (1865 – 1939) and French poet Paul Éluard (1895 – 1952) (as “Il y a un autre monde mais il est dans celui-ci”).

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Previously on Tumblr: Crystallised Minerals[2] by Alexandre Isidore Leroy de Barde.