ccartoon - A kind of drawing done to get people thinking, angry, laughing, or otherwise amused, often accompanied by a caption. A cartoon usually has simple lines, uses basic colors, and tells a story in one or a series of pictures called frames or panels.


Examples of cartoons in this first sense:


see thumbnail to leftCount de Meurs, (Netherlandish), Drawings in a Letter, 1493, Library of Zutphen, Netherlands. Manuscripts dating back to the Middle Ages often used sequential pictures accompanied by text, or sometimes even used text-balloons for captions as in this example. See Dutch art.



see thumbnail to rightCharlet (French, 1792-1845), My dear children I carry you all in my heart (Mes cheres enfants Je vous porte tons dans mon coeur), c. 1820. Following the French Revolution and Napoleanic rule, the monarchy was restored once again. Charlet's cartoon suggests the actual place where Louis XVIII's would carry his subjects.




see thumbnail to leftHonoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879), Rue Transnonian, le 15 Avril 1834, published by the Association mensuelle July 1834, lithograph on paper, 17 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches (44.5 x 29.0 cm). Victims of senseless viloence are sensitively modeled.




see thumbnail to rightHonoré Daumier, I have three cents! (J'ai trois cents), from the series "Parisian Emotions", c. 1843, lithograph on paper. Artists have paid the poor little attention at any time in hisory. Daumier often made them central figures in his editorial caroons. This impoverished fellow looks on as bourgeois citizens enjoy the luxury of dining out. See caricature and Realism.



Thomas Nast (American , 1840-1902)



Scott Adams (American, contemporary), Dilbert, a strip which first appeared in 1989, printed in 50 papers then, and in 1,900 by 1999. Scott Adams was the first cartoonist to put an email address in a comic strip.



see thumbnail to leftDavid Horsey (American, 1952-), Todays News Quiz, The President is Marshalling . . . , 2002, ink on paper, published by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Horsey has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his cartooning, in 1999 and 2003.


A political cartoon may caricature current public figures or issues symbolically and often satirically. Animated films are also called cartoons.

There is an older sense in which a cartoon was a preliminary drawing made the size of the final work. Michelangelo transferred the images of his cartoons onto the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the making of his fresco.

Other examples of cartoons in this last sense:



see thumbnail to rightLeonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519), Virgin and Child with the Infant John the Baptist and St. Anne, National Gallery, London, sketch for the Madonna and Child with St. Anne and John the Baptist, often identified as the Burlington House Cartoon. Leonardo's later treatment of the same subject (without John the Baptist): The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, 1510, [200 k,] oil on wood panel, 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 feet (168 x 130 cm), Musee du Louvre, Paris.




Federico Barocci (Italian, Urbino, c.1536-1612), The Flight of Aeneas, black chalk, heightened with white, on paper formerly blue, mounted on canvas, Louvre.



Charles Le Brun (French, 1619-1690), The Different Peoples of America, black chalk, with white heightening, on several pieces of buff paper joined together, 1.830 x 2.290 m, Louvre.




see thumbnail to rightWilliam Morris (English, 1834-1896), Guinevere and Iseult: Cartoon for Stained Glass, 1862, chalk, pencil and watercolor on paper, 61.0 x 685 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See Arts and Crafts Movement and stained glass.




see thumbnail to leftWilliam Morris, Angel of the Resurrection: Cartoon for Stained Glass, 1862, crayon, pencil and watercolor on paper, 68.9 x 46.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London.



Also see animation, anime, cartoonist, deformalism, narrative art, Pop Art, satire, and sinopia.






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