Out of caricature comes critique. Unlike commissioned portraits, the people portrayed have no control over their portraits but instead have to face graphic attacks on their person. By means of exaggeration and accessories, specific characteristics are highlighted and ridiculed.

Since the 19th Century, there is an increasing number of amateur caricaturists. In universities, these are students in particular. Their depictions show an unofficial and sometimes subversive picture of the university “from the bottom ranks”. At the same time, professional artists discover a new genre with caricatures, which enjoys great popularity in an increasingly middle class society.

Coded meanings can be found in the details of graphic exaggeration and satirical mocking typical for caricature portrayals. In order to understand the humour within the pictures, even the contemporaries of this era had to think outside the box. To further our understanding today, it is therefore essential to consider the original context when looking at these pictures.

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