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Russian Satirical Journals Caricatures of 1905-1906 in the Context of Mass Politics.docx
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Chapter I. Phenomenon of Caricature: Brief History

Etymologically, the word caricature is based on the italian word caricare (to load, to charge, to exeggarate). Caricature emerged as a pictorial genre in the XVII century in Italy and was developed by such artists as the Carracci, Guercino, Pier Francesco Mola and others. They started with the drawing of monsters and another curious anomalies by mixing different parts of different animals but later they were involved as illustrators for physiognomic scientific books in which the pseudo-Aristotelian concept of understanding "the hidden truth about human nature" trough his physical appearance was realized by distortion of portrait using grotesque image. Early caricature was nothing more than the scientific approach.

Gombrich explains late appearance of a seemingly simple genre by changing the social role of the artist in the Renaissance:

The end of the sixteenth century, the period when caricature first appears, is marked by a complete change in the artist's role and his position in society. This refers neither to the artist's income nor to his prestige as a member of a concrete social group, nor to whether or not he carried a sword—but to the fact that he was no longer a manual worker, the banausos of antiquity, but he had become a creator...The work of art is—for the first time in European history—considered as a projection of an inner image.

The idea of describing people characters through a physiognomic analysis by grotesque drawings was to the liking of the aristocratic circles of Italy and France and during the XVII and mid-XVIII centuries it was a very popular form of entertainment. In the early XVIII Thomas Patch imported some works of caricature art from Italy to England, started to draw caricatures himself and firstly used such pictures «in order to enliven the satirical political print with negative insights into the personal characteristics of political opponents». It is worth noting that drawings as a political tool have been used before (see, for example, anti-clerical images in the books of Martin Luther King), but they were not interconnected with the tradition of caricatures and idea of distortion.

However, usage of the printing and distribution of cartoons as a social and political tool was limited by technological reasons. A couple of inventions of late XVIII century in the printing technique, including lithography, color printing and face xylography have opened new opportunities for publication and distribution of drawings. The first commercially successful cartoonists were James Gillray, William Hogarth and George Townshend, who started publishing their drawings on political topics. In 1770s, Henry William Bunbury created first caricatures focused on a social type. The drawings of the early English cartoonists appeared in compilation books or in "single-sheet satire" form. With their names associated the arrival of political or editorial caricatures. With this authors are associated the first time that purposely caricature and political satire had been combined.

"Wandering" motives were spread during the Napoleonic wars. The same motives can be found in Russian, Dutch, English, German and even French caricatures: Napoleon's contract with Satan, the image of Napoleon in the form of a jester or harlequin, his passionate desire to possess a globe and others. Since the beginning of the 18th century, mutual reciprocity of caricature's plots from different countries had become widespread.

Improvement of the techniques of woodcut at the beginning of the XVIII century opened up new opportunities for reproduction. The xylography technique made it possible to put a caricature and text on the same page of journal. In addition, it led to significant increasing the number of prints and reduced the cost of a single issue. In 1820 appeared the first periodical illustrated satirical magazine Le Caricatur with two or three images in each issue. Since 1841 Punch has been published in London, the editors of which issue the term cartoon (about the differences in terms of cartoon and caricature in ch. I.III). In 1848, the first issue of the journal Kladderadatsch was published in Berlin. In 1859 Turin was founded Pasquino. At the same time, at the end of the 1850s, Veselchak, Gudok, Iskra appeared almost simultaneously in St. Petersburg (more about Russian caricatures in I.II.). In the last third of the XIX century. The type of weekly satirical magazine with caricatures was already a worldwide phenomenon.

By W. Benjamin, the possibility of mass reproduction leads to destruction of the aura of art. Art, being subjected to mass copying, ceased to be a unique custodian of objective beauty. By copying the reproduction, the uniquiness replaced to the sameness. The reproduction brought together art and audience and actualized the reproduced object: from the keeper of ideals to the actor of reality. As a genre of painting, caricature offered an object of simultaneous collective perception, critical analysis and hedonistic pleasure. Art, caricature including, became part of everyday life and naturally fit into the social, political and cultural context. The XIX century is the time of ascendance of mass political culture and a caricature as an element of a given culture.

But even invention of photography led artists to get rid from their standard position of the beauty-keeper, it was not affected the genre of caricature because work of caricaturist is already a destructed reception of reality. Daguerreotype and publication of photographs in newspapers gave a new source for caricature: free access to images of significant individuals and events gave more space for work of caricaturist. If newspapers and photographs translate actual facts for a reader, satiric journals and caricatures offer actual meanings based on first. Photography gave image to charge for caricature. Caricaturists and photographers were in interplay, «led the march away from the facility of melodramatic gestures and vitiated historicism towards a new appreciaton of the common man, the fallen angel standing proudly in his frockcoat and proclaiming the sancity of his own image».

Development of mass media and periodicals also led to significant social changes. Printed capitalism in order to increase sales used vernacular languages and created new informational spaces. Explosions of the popularity of caricatures and satirical magazines accompanied the national revolutions in France and Germany, as well as Civil War in the United States of America. Since the middle of XIX century, that satirical journals, as a part of printing press, also were significantly involved in time of political and social changes.

In the 1890s, with the invention of clichés, tonal illustrations were massively reproduced and the ability to include clichés in the set allowed cartoons to be edited directly into the texts of articles published by magazines and newspapers. The interrelation of the written and pictorial materials printed «in the room» became more close. The development of printing technology and societies outside the old Europe also spawned a series of caricature booms.

At the present stage, the cartoon has also suffered a number of technical innovations: the invention of comics and animation has allowed to involve in the comics a new dimension of time, videogames have opened new boundaries of communication with the audience. Undoubtedly, the new technological possibilities, as well as the social and cultural changes of the XX and XXI centuries, have seriously transformed the caricature genre, but these transformations are not an important part of this study and surely deserve a specific research.