Caricature of a Man Wearing a Large Hat
Pen and brown ink
The genre of caricature developed in the early seventeenth century, particularly under the influence of the Carracci family, whose Academy was one of the primary training grounds for what came to be known as Baroque art. Naturalistic studies like the life drawing by Domenichino in the Yale University Art Gallery's collection (2003.103) were the most obvious aspect of the Carracci reform of painting, but a caricature's distortion or overemphasis of a particular feature of a person required equally careful study of the subject's appearance. The idea of truth revealed through distortion was a fascinating conceit to Baroque artists and patrons. Guercino became one of the foremost caricaturists of his time, and this sheet is one of the largest and most humorous of his drawings in the genre.
Suzanne Boorsch and John J. Marciari, Master Drawings from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 27, 14041, no. 43, ill.