Infinite Jest : Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine - the exhibition catalogue from The Metropolitan Museum of Art available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Infinite Jest : Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine

Regular price £29.95
'virtuously researched, gracefully written and beautifully printed' — Prospect Magazine 

From Leonardo's drawings of grotesque heads to contemporary prints lampooning American politicians, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a vast but largely unknown collection of caricatures and other satirical works. This handsome book offers 165 examples, dating from about 1500 to the present, that reflect the age-old tradition of using exaggeration and humour to convey personal, social, or political meaning. The selection of images is notably broad, ranging from the elevated to the rudely humorous: renowned writers and decidedly unhygienic cooks; elegantly dressed noblemen and victims of outrageous fashion fads; Napoleon as a tidy Lilliputian and Boss Tweed as a bloated Roman emperor.

Stressing the continuity of certain artistic approaches, Infinite Jest examines the development of the genre across centuries and cultures. The essential visual components of caricature are discussed and illustrated, as are recurring motifs, including exaggerated faces and bodies, people depicted as animals or objects, and processions of bizarre figures. One section is devoted to social satire (eating and drinking, gambling, fashion, several of the Seven Deadly Sins), another to various aspects of political life (British, French, Mexican, and American).

Artists as diverse as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, William Hogarth, Francisco de Goya, Thomas Rowlandson, Eugene Delacroix, Honore Daumier, and Al Hirschfeld contribute their distinctive talents to this fascinating, informative, and very amusing volume.

Winner of the 2012 New York Book Festival Award in the photography/art category.
  • Author: Constance McPhee
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Date published: August 2011
  • Language: English
  • Delivery: Allow 1-2 weeks
  • ISBN: 978-0300175813
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 21.0 cm

'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 

'virtuously researched, gracefully written and beautifully printed' — Prospect Magazine 

'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' — Xpress Reviews