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The Violent Art: Caricatures of Conflict in Germany

Hewitson, M; (2017) The Violent Art: Caricatures of Conflict in Germany. Cultural History , 6 (1) pp. 57-79. 10.3366/cult.2017.0135. Green open access

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War furnishes a – perhaps the – classic case of ‘black humour’, which is understood here in the broad sense, not merely as the humour of the gallows or the cheating of death, but humour deriving from a confrontation with suffering or death, either as a victim or a perpetrator. War cartoons relied on the manipulation of images for comic effect, which – at least until the absurdist experiments of the Dada and Surrealist movements during and after the First World War – appeared impossible in photography, painting and cinematography. Caricature permitted artists simultaneously to conjure up, simplify and undermine reality. The selection and exaggeration of character traits and circumstantial detail, which was fundamental to caricature, revealed graphically how cartoonists perceived the social and political world in which they lived. This chapter examines how such selection and exaggeration worked in extreme conditions during wartime.

Type: Article
Title: The Violent Art: Caricatures of Conflict in Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3366/cult.2017.0135
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/cult.2017.0135
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538948
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