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Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine

Item# 80-012861 

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  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Pages: 224
  • Illustrations: 211 (207 in full color)
  • Dimensions: 9" x 10"
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Authors:
  • Award: Winner of the 2012 New York Book Festival Award in the photography/art category
  • ISBN: 9780300175813



By Constance McPhee and Nadine Orenstein

From Leonardo's drawings of grotesque heads to contemporary prints lampooning American political figures, the Metropolitan Museum has a vast and largely unknown collection of caricatures and other satirical works. This volume, the first to feature that collection, offers 160 such examples dating from about 1500 to the present many of them previously unpublished that reflect the age-old tradition of employing exaggeration and humor to convey personal, social, or political meaning. Stressing the continuity of certain artistic approaches, it examines the development of the genre across a broad expanse of centuries. The basic visual components of caricature are discussed and illustrated, as are themes such as physical types, people as animals or objects, social satire (food, fashion, and foreigners), and politics (British, French, and American). Artists as diverse as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson, Francisco de Goya, Eugne Delacroix, Honor Daumier, and David Levine contribute their distinctive talents to this fascinatingand very amusing compilation.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review

of great interest handsome many of the best prints are reproduced here in full-page layouts the sketches and plates on the half- page or in four-by- five-inch frames have been realized with unusual sharpness and delicacy the authors genially informative manner captures the mood of the show."
The New York Review of Books

" will leave you feeling that realism is a deviation from the proper business of art - caricature - not the other way around."
San Francisco Chronicle

"nicely produced
The Spectator

"virtuously researched, gracefully written and beautifully printed"
Prospect Magazine

" it will remind us of the power of pictures to make us see things that aren't there by making them impossible to miss "
Big Think

"The authors provide ample context and historical background for the works, essential to understand their meaning an attractive purchase Highly recommended for collections focusing on art, history, and culture of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries."
Bette- Lee Fox, Xpress Reviews

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