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Encyclopedia > Grotesque
Mother Nature is surrounded by grottesche in this fresco detail from Villa d'Este
Mother Nature is surrounded by grottesche in this fresco detail from Villa d'Este

When commonly used in conversation, grotesque means strange, fantastic, ugly or bizarre, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as Halloween masks or gargoyles on churches. More specifically, the grotesque forms on Gothic buildings, when not used as drainspouts, should not be called gargoyles, but rather referred to simply as grotesques, or chimeras. Grotesque is word which means strange, fantastic, ugly, bizarre or gross. ... Image File history File links Rerum Natura (Mother Nature) surrounded by grottesche decorations: Villa dEste Source antmoose, 21 May 2005 Released through Creative Commons by the photographer File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Rerum Natura (Mother Nature) surrounded by grottesche decorations: Villa dEste Source antmoose, 21 May 2005 Released through Creative Commons by the photographer File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Mother Nature is a mythical personification of nature. ... Park of the Villa dEste, Carl Blechen, 1830 The gardens at the Villa dEste The Villa dEste is a masterpiece of Italian architecture and garden design. ... Halloween, or Halloween, is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children, who, in a tradition commonly known as trick-or-treating, dress in costumes and go door-to-door to collect sweets, fruit, and other gifts. ... A gargoyle adorning the Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Scotland. ... Interior of Cologne Cathedral Gothic architecture is a style of architecture, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. ... A gargoyle adorning the Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Scotland. ... Chimera on a red-figure Apulian plate, ca 350-340 BCE (Musée du Louvre) In Greek mythology, the Chimera (Greek Χίμαιρα (Chímaira); Latin Chimaera) is a monstrous creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, which was made of the parts of multiple animals. ...

Contents

Etymology

The word grotesque comes from the same Latin root as "grotto", meaning a small cave or hollow. The expression comes from the unearthing and rediscovery of ancient Roman decorations in caves and buried sites in the 15th century. These "caves" were in fact rooms and corridors of the Domus Aurea, the unfinished palace complex started by Nero after the great fire from 64 AD. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Domus Aurea (Latin for Golden House) was a large landscaped portico villa, designed to take advantage of artificially created landscapes, rather than a monumental palace,[1] built in the heart of Ancient Rome by the Roman emperor Nero after Great fire of Rome, which devastated Rome in 64 AD...


In art history

In art, grotesques are a decorative form of arabesques with interlaced garlands and strange animal figures. Such designs were fashionable in ancient Rome, as frescoed wall decoration, floor mosaics, etc., and were decried by Vitruvius (ca. 30 BCE), who in dismissing them as meaningless and illogical, offered quite a good description: "reeds are substituted for columns fluted appendages with curly leaves and volutes take the place of pediments, candelabra support representations of shrines, and on top of their roofs grow slender stalks and volutes with human figures senselessly seated upon them." When Nero's Domus Aurea was inadvertently rediscovered in the late fifteenth century, buried in fifteen hundred years of fill, so that the rooms had the aspect of underground grottoes, the Roman wall decorations in fresco and delicate stucco were a revelation; they were introduced by Raphael Sanzio and his team of decorative painters, who developed grottesche into a complete system of ornament in the Loggias that are part of the series of Raphael's Rooms in the Vatican Palace, Rome. "The decorations astonished and charmed a generation of artists that was familiar with the grammar of the classical orders but had not guessed till then that in their private houses the Romans had often disregarded those rules and had adopted instead a more fanciful and informal style that was all lightness, elegance and grace."[1] In these grotesque decorations a tablet or candelabrum might provide a focus; frames were extended into scrolls that formed part of the surrounding designs as a kind of scaffold, as Peter Ward-Jackson noted. Light scrolling grotesques could be ordered by confining them within the framing of a pilaster to give them more structure. Giovanni da Udine took up the theme of grotesques in decorating the Villa Madama, the most influential of the new Roman villas. Arabesque pattern at the Alhambra An element of Islamic art usually found decorating the walls of mosques, the arabesque is an elaborate application of repeating geometric forms that often echo the forms of plants and animals. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born ca. ... The Domus Aurea (Latin for Golden House) was a large landscaped portico villa, designed to take advantage of artificially created landscapes, rather than a monumental palace,[1] built in the heart of Ancient Rome by the Roman emperor Nero after Great fire of Rome, which devastated Rome in 64 AD... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Stucco is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water which is applied wet, and hardens when it dries. ... This page is about the artist. ... Raphaels Rooms, located in the Palace of the Vatican, are papal apartments with frescoes painted by Italian artist Raphael. ... The Palace of the Vatican, also called the Papal Palace or the Apostolic Palace, is the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. ... A refined canonic version of the Orders engraved for the Encyclopédie, vol. ... Giovanni Nanni, also Giovanni de Ricamatori, better known as Giovanni da Udine (1487-1564), was an Italian painter and architect born in Udine. ... Even uncompleted, the Villa Madama, in Rome, Italy, with its loggia and segmental columned garden court and its casino with an open center, was one of the most famous and imitated villas and terraced gardens of the High Renaissance. ...


Through engravings the grotesque mode of surface ornament passed into the European artistic repertory of the sixteenth century, from Spain to Poland. Soon grottesche appeared in marquetry (fine woodwork), in maiolica produced above all at Urbino from the late 1520s, then in book illustration and in other decorative uses. At Fontainebleau Rosso Fiorentino and his team enriched the vocabulary of grotesques by combining them with the decorative form of strapwork, the portrayal of leather straps in plaster or wood moldings, which forms an element in grotesques. By extension backwards in time, in modern terminology for medieval illuminated manuscripts, drolleries, half-human thumbnail vignettes drawn in the margins, are also called "grotesques". Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. ... The image on the cover of this box was made using the technique of marquetry. ... Majolica is earthenware with a white tin glaze, decorated by applying colorants on the raw glazed surface. ... Panorama of Urbino with the cathedral and the palazzo ducale Urbino is a city in the Marche in Italy, southwest of Pesaro, a World Heritage Site with a great cultural history during the Renaissance as the seat of Federico da Montefeltro. ... The Royal Château of Fontainebleau (in the Seine-et-Marne département) is one of the largest French royal châteaux. ... Moses Defending the Daughters of Jethro by Rosso Fiorentino (c. ... It the history of art and design, the term strapwork refers to a stylised representation of strips or bands of curling leather. ... In the strictest definition of illuminated manuscript, only manuscripts decorated with gold or silver, like this miniature of Christ in Majesty from the Aberdeen Bestiary (folio 4v), would be considered illuminated. ... Page from a 14th century Psalter, showing a drollery on the right margin. ...


In contemporary illustration art, the "grotesque" figures, in the ordinary conversational sense, commonly appear in the genre grotesque art, also known as fantastic art. Fantastic art is a loosely defined art genre. ...

French neoclassical grotesque painted decor at Fontainebleau, 1780s
French neoclassical grotesque painted decor at Fontainebleau, 1780s

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1387x1945, 931 KB) own Work File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Talk:Arabesque Château de Fontainebleau Cabinet making Grotesque Georges Jacob Metadata This file contains additional... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1387x1945, 931 KB) own Work File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Talk:Arabesque Château de Fontainebleau Cabinet making Grotesque Georges Jacob Metadata This file contains additional... The Royal Château of Fontainebleau (in the Seine-et-Marne département) is one of the largest French royal châteaux. ...

In typography

Grotesque (generally with an upper-case G) is the style of the sans serif types of the 19th century. Capital-only faces of this style were available from 1816. The name "Grotesque" was coined by William Thorowgood, the first to produce a sans-serif type with lower case, in 1832. Examples of Grotesque designs are: This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Majuscules or capital letters (in the Roman alphabet: A, B, C, ...) are one type of case in a writing system. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Letter case. ...

The later designs are sometimes classified as neo-grotesque (see: typeface). Differences between Helvetica and Akzidenz. ... Designed in 1902 by Morris Fuller Benton for the American Type Founders company, Franklin gothic still reigns as one of the most-widely used sans serif typefaces. ... Morris Fuller Benton (November 30, 1872 – June 30, 1948) was one of the most prolific and influential type designers in history, but is relatively little known today. ... Monotype Grotesque is a realist sans-serif typeface designed by Frank Hinman Pierpont (1860–1937) and released by the Monotype foundry in 1926. ... This article is about a typeface; for information about similarly spelled topics, see Universe (disambiguation). ... Adrian Frutiger (born March 24, 1928) is the designer of some of the best known typefaces of the 20th century. ... This article is about the typeface Helvetica. ... Max Miedinger (December 24th, 1910-March 8th, 1980) was a Swiss typeface designer. ... For the origin and evolution of fonts, see History of western typography. ...


In literature

In fiction, characters are usually considered grotesque if they induce both empathy and disgust. (A character who inspires disgust alone is simply a villain or a monster.) Obvious examples would include the physically deformed and the mentally deficient, but people with cringe-worthy social traits are also included. The reader becomes piqued by the grotesque's positive side, and continues reading to see if the character can conquer their darker side. In Shakespeare's The Tempest, the figure of Caliban has inspired more nuanced reactions than simple scorn and disgust. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see The Tempest (disambiguation). ... Caliban can mean: Caliban is a moon of Uranus. ...

Alice surrounded by the characters of Wonderland in The Nursery "Alice" (1890)
Alice surrounded by the characters of Wonderland in The Nursery "Alice" (1890)

Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of the most celebrated grotesques in literature. Dr. Frankenstein's monster can also be considered a grotesque, as well as the Phantom of the Opera. Other instances of the romantic grotesque are also to be found in Edgar Allan Poe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, in Sturm und Drang literature or in Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Romantic grotesque is far more terrible and somber than medieval grotesque, which celebrated laughter and fertility. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Nursery Alice is a shortened version of Lewis Carrolls Alices Adventures in Wonderland, adapted by the author himself for children from nought to five with twenty of Tenniels illustrations from the original book colored and enlarged. ... Victor-Marie Hugo (pronounced in French) (26 February 1802 — 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France. ... The Hunchback of Notre Dame (in French, Notre-Dame de Paris) was a novel first published in 1831 by the French literary giant Victor Hugo. ... This article is about the Gaston Leroux novel. ... Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, editor, critic and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... ETA Hoffman Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (January 24, 1776 - June 25, 1822), was a German romantic and fantasy author and composer. ... Sturm und Drang (literally: storm and stress) was a Germany literary movement that developed during the latter half of the 18th century. ... The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (or, more briefly, Tristram Shandy) is a novel by Laurence Sterne. ...


The grotesque received a new shape with Alice in the Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, when a girl meets fantastic grotesque figures in her fantasy world. Carroll manages to make the figures seem less frightful and fit for children's literature, but still utterly strange. John Tenniels illustration for A Mad Tea-Party, 1865 Alices Adventures in Wonderland is a work of childrens literature by the British mathematician and author Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. ... Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) – believed to be a self-portrait Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: ) (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... Jane Frank: illustration from Thomas Yoseloffs The Further Adventures of Till Eulenspiegel (1957). ...


Southern Gothic is the genre most frequently identified with grotesques and William Faulkner is often cited as the ringmaster. Flannery O'Connor wrote, "Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one" ("Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction," 1960). In her often-anthologized short-story "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," the Misfit, a serial killer, is clearly a maimed soul, utterly callous to human life but driven to seek the truth. The less obvious grotesque is the polite, doting grandmother who is unaware of her own astonishing selfishness. Another oft-cited example of the Grotesque from O'Connor's work is her short-story entitled "A Temple Of The Holy Ghost." Southern Gothic is a subgenre of the Gothic writing style, unique to American literature. ... William Cuthbert Faulkner (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was an American novelist and poet whose works feature his native state of Mississippi. ... Mary Flannery OConnor (b. ... The short story is a literary genre. ... A Good Man Is Hard To Find is a collection of short stories by American author Flannery OConnor. ...


The term Theatre of the Grotesque refers to an anti-naturalistic school of Italian dramatists, writing in the 1910s and 1920s, who are often seen as precursors of the Theatre of the Absurd. Naturalism may refer to: Naturalism (philosophy), any of several philosophical stances wherein all phenomena or hypotheses commonly labeled as supernatural, are either false, unknowable, or not inherently different from natural phenomena or hypotheses Methodological naturalism is the methodological assumption that that observable events in nature are explained only by natural... // The 1910s represent the culmination of European militarism which had its beginnings during the second half of the 19th Century. ... The 1920s is a decade that is sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... The Theatre of the Absurd, or Theater of the Absurd (French: Le Théâtre de lAbsurde) is a designation for particular plays written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from...


In architecture

Grotesque at the University of Chicago
Grotesque at the University of Chicago

While often confused with gargoyles, these stone carvings are not born from the general form of a water spout. This type of sculpture is also called a chimera. Anatomy grotesque and Bartlett building at the University of Chicago. ... Anatomy grotesque and Bartlett building at the University of Chicago. ... The University of Chicago is a private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. ... A gargoyle adorning the Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Scotland. ... Chimera on a red-figure Apulian plate, ca 350-340 BCE (Musée du Louvre) In Greek mythology, the Chimera (Greek Χίμαιρα (Chímaira); Latin Chimaera) is a monstrous creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, which was made of the parts of multiple animals. ...


In chess

Chess problems with positions which would be regarded by conventional criteria as "ugly", especially those in which a small number of white pieces fight against a much larger number of black ones, are called grotesques. See grotesque (chess) for more. Godfrey Heathcote Hampstead and Highgate Express, 1905-06 (First Prize) White to move and mate in two. ... Ottó Bláthy The Chess Amateur, 1922 White to play and win. ...


See also

Giuseppe Verdi, by Giovanni Boldini, 1886 (National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome) Rigoletto is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi. ... The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... Giuseppe Verdi Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (either October 9 or 10, 1813 – January 27, 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. ... Sheela-na-Gigs or Sheela Na Gigs are grotesque figurative carvings of naked females displaying an exaggerated vulva. ... Hunky Punk is Somerset (West Country) dialect for grotesque carvings on the side of buildings (especially churches). ... Papierkrattler masks at the Narrensprung 2005 Carnival parade, Ravensburg Germany A mask is an artefact normally worn on the face, typically for protection, concealment, performance, or amusement. ... Mummers Plays (also known as mumming) are seasonal folk plays performed by troupes of actors known as mummers or guisers (or by local names such as rhymers, pace-eggers, soulers, tipteerers, galoshins and so on), originally in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales (see wrenboys), but later in other parts of... For the film, see Pumpkin (film). ... Southern Gothic is a subgenre of the Gothic writing style, unique to American literature. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Peter Ward-Jackson, "The Grotesque" in "Some main streams and tributaries in European ornament from 1500 to 1750: part 1" The Victoria and Albert Museum Bulletin (June 1967, pp 58-70) p 75.

Bibliography

  • Sheinberg, Esti (2000-12-29). Irony, satire, parody and the grotesque in the music of Shostakovich (in English). UK: Ashgate, 378. ISBN 0-7546-0226-5. 
  • Kayser, Wolfgang (1957) The grotesque in Art and Literature, New York, Columbia University Press
  • Lee Byron Jennings (1963) The ludicrous demon: aspects of the grotesque in German post-Romantic prose, Berkeley, University of California Press
  • Bakhtin, Mikhail (1941). Rabelais and his world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 
  • Selected bibliography by Philip Thomson, The Grotesque, Methuen Critical Idiom Series, 1972.
  • Dacos, N. La d√©couverte de la Domus Aurea et la formation des grotesques √† la Renaissance (London) 1969.
  • Kort, Pamela (2004-10-30). Comic Grotesque: Wit And Mockery In German Art, 1870-1940 (in English). PRESTEL, 208. ISBN 9783791331959. 
  • FS Connelly "Modern art and the grotesque" 2003 assets.cambridge.org [1]

1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ... In contemporary usage, a parody (or lampoon) is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke some affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ... Mikhail Bakhtin. ...

External links

  • Video tour of the most vivid examples of medieval Parisian stone carving - the grotesques of Notre Dame
  • [The mockery of wit http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/10/22/features/germart.php] By Roberta Smith

  Results from FactBites:
 
Grotesque - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (631 words)
More specifically, the grotesque forms on buildings which are not used as drainspouts should not be called gargoyles, but rather referred to simply as grotesques, or chimeras.
In art, grotesques are a decorative form of arabesques with interlaced garlands and strange animal figures which were fashionable in ancient Rome (as wall decoration, mosaics, etc.) and in Renaissance art as wall decoration, in marquetry (fine woodwork), in book illustration and in other decorative uses.
Grotesque (generally with an upper-case G) is the style of the sans serif types of the 19th century.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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