Famous Caricaturists Through the Years

By The Caricaturist | Caricature Facts

Famous Caricaturists Through the Years

The word caricature came from the Italian word caricature, which translates to “loaded portrait.” A caricature is an illustration of an individual with overstated features to make an amusing effect or imply a political commentary.

Caricature has been practiced through centuries; the art style was formed during the Late Middle Ages and flourished during the 19th century.

If you want to caricature yourself, better learn from the experts first. Here is a list of famous caricaturists who have made their mark using that particular art form.

19th Century Masters

Thomas Nast

Thomas Nast was an American editorial cartoonist who is deemed to be the originator of political caricature in the US. He was famous for his politically-charged caricatures ranging from the likes of the Democratic Donkey, the Republican Elephant and even Santa Claus.

Controversial and unrelenting in his views, his works were championed by supporters of freedom of expression.

George Cruikshank

George Cruikshank was an English artist who made political parodies of England’s Royals. Some of his more popular works, like the societal portraits of British life, were published in publications like the Omnibus and the Cruikshank Almanac.

He was said to have accepted a £100 kickback to stop making unflattering images of King George III.

Honore Daumier

Honore Daumier is an influential French artist/printmaker and he is deemed to be the originator of the contemporary caricature. He created over 4,000 lithographs, which concentrated mostly on social and political caricatures for French journals and dailies.

20th Century Masters

Sir Max Beerbohm

Sir Max Beerbohm was a British artist who created many caricatures for the likes for Strand magazine and Vanity Fair. Although he was famous for his caricatures, he was most well-known for Zuleika Dobson, a novel he wrote.

Lyonel Feininger

Lyonel Feininger is an artist who also dabbled in caricatures. A master of his craft, he became Germany’s most influential political cartoonist and was also acclaimed for the caricatures produced for several American and German journals.

Al Hirschfeld

Al Hirschfield is an American artist who was famous for his straightforward black and white illustrations of popular celebrities, actors and actresses. He was also known for his caricatures of television stars and politicians.

You will see his work in museums like the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both of which are located in New York City. He was also one of the few illustrators who were contracted to offer artworks for postal stamps in the US.

William Gropper

William Gropper’s rose to fame with his string of Communist-inspired caricatures and other social realist illustrations.

Mort Drucker

Mort Drucker is a caricaturist who has worked with MAD magazine since 1957. He was notable for his film and television star caricatures and has provided images and covers to Time Magazine on a frequent basis.

The artist has also won several awards from the National Cartoonist Society for outstanding work in his field.

David Levine

David Levine is an American caricaturist famed for his caricatures of popular politicians and writers. His works have been published in periodicals like The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Time magazine and Playboy magazine.

Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman is a British caricaturist known for his social and political drawings for US writer Hunter S. Thompson. He was voted Illustrator of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1979.

Gerald Anthony Scarfe

Gerald Anthony Scarfe made illustrations for The New Yorker and also worked as editorial cartoonist for The Sunday Times. He provided illustrations for Private Eye magazine in the 60s and 70s and also made drawings for The Daily Sketch, Punch magazine and The Evening Standard.

He was also famed for his illustrations of famous British personalities like Queen Elizabeth I, Henry the VIII, Winston Churchill, The Beatles and Agatha Christie.

Modern Masters

Sam Viviano

Sam Viviano is an American artist known for his art-director duties for MAD magazine. His works have appeared in publications like Reader’s Digest, Rolling Stone magazine, Institutional Investor and others.

Robert Risko

Robert Risko is an American artist who makes use of old-style airbrushing methods in his works. He was mentored by Andy Warhol and his works have appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire and Playboy magazine.

Jan Op de Beeck

Jan Op de Beeck is a Belgian caricaturist who is a noted master of cross-hatching and finger-smearing techniques. He was given the title “World’s Best Caricaturist” in 2003.

Sebastian Kruger

Sebastian Kruger was famed for his realistic but often bizarre distortions of his subjects’ features. His most well-known works include faithful renderings of pop culture personalities like Madonna, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. His works can be found in Der Spiegel, L’Espresso, Playboy and USA Today.

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