Creative Mind Humanities Lecture Series: Caricature influences politics

Courtesy photo  “The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli
Courtesy photo
“The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli

By Perla Arellano

Senior Reporter


The connection between caricatures and oil paintings, like the painting “The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli and the satirical cartoon, “The Covent Garden Nightmare” by Thomas Rowlandson, was discussed by Dr. Bradford Mudge at Amarillo College.

As part of the Creative Mind Humanities Lecture Series, Mudge, professor of eighteenth-century British literature of the University of Colorado-Denver, spoke on Thursday about the caricatures during the eighteenth century.

The caricatures were not printed in newspapers and were purchased in print shops, coffee shops, and on the streets. Mudge said that caricatures on paper were very effective since they were able to move through the streets of London and were used to influence political point of view.

Courtesy photo  “The Covent Garden Nightmare” by Thomas Rowlandson
Courtesy photo
“The Covent Garden Nightmare” by Thomas Rowlandson

The artist would exaggerate or use animal traits on the person being portrayed in order to make a point across. For example, the the British political, Charles James Fox would be portrayed as his animal counterpart, the fox.

“Through the exaggeration of caricature you can come to more realistic internal thoughts,” Mudge said.

Jeanette Camarena, a nursing major who was at the lecture helping as part of the Honors program said she liked how Mudge explained the influence caricatures have in politics with the voters.

Emily Reitz, an education major, also a part of the Honors program, said she was able to appreciate the lecture because she had taken Dr. Devoe’s art history class. She said that she hadn’t realized that caricatures were connected to portraits.

Ben Sargent, Pulitzer Prize winner, AC alumnus and former political cartoonist will be at AC next week to give two lectures on Feb. 13. “This is Not a Pipe: Symbolism in Cartoons” at 12:30 p.m. on the Washington Street Campus. The second lecture, “Beyond the Tipping Point: Cartooning in the Digital Age,” will be at 7 p.m. on the Downtown Campus.

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