views updated May 23 2018

1. Capricious Classical ornament (properly grottesque) consisting of animals, figures, flowers, foliage, fruits, and sphinxes, all connected together, and distinct from arabesques which do not have animal or humanoid representations. It is so called after the Antique decorations rediscovered (1488) during the Renaissance period in buried ruins of Roman buildings called grotte. Grotesques as a type of decoration were revived by Raphael (so sometimes called Raphaelesques), and were used at the Vatican Loggie (from c.1515) and the Villa Madama, Rome (1520–1). Designs for grotesques were made available in publications, and, with strapwork, were common in Renaissance and Mannerist schemes of decoration, especially in Northern Europe.

2. Picturesque irregular landscape, often with grottoes.


Chastel (1988);
Dacos (1969);
Lewis & and Darley (1986);
Ward-Jackson (1967, 1967a)


views updated Jun 27 2018

gro·tesque / grōˈtesk/ • adj. comically or repulsively ugly or distorted: grotesque facial distortions. ∎  incongruous or inappropriate to a shocking degree: a lifestyle of grotesque luxury.• n. 1. a very ugly or comically distorted figure, creature, or image: the rods are carved in the form of a series of gargoyle faces and grotesques. ∎  (the grotesque) that which is grotesque: images of the macabre and the grotesque. ∎  a style of decorative painting or sculpture consisting of the interweaving of human and animal forms with flowers and foliage.2. Printing a family of 19th-century sans serif typefaces.DERIVATIVES: gro·tesque·ly adv.gro·tesque·ness n.


views updated Jun 08 2018

grotesque sb. decorative painting or sculpture with fantastic interweaving of forms XVI; adj. pert. to work of such a character, fantastically extravagant XVII; ludicrously incongruous XVIII. Earliest forms crotescque, -esco, grot(t)esco; — F. crotesque — (with assim. to OF. crote GROT) It. grottesca, fem. of grottesco, f. grotta; finally assim. to F. grotesque; see GROT, -ESQUE. The special sense is said to be due to the Rom. application of grotta to chambers of old buildings revealed by excavation and containing mural paintings of a certain type.


views updated May 29 2018

Grotesque woof! 1987 (R)

After slaughtering a young woman's family as they vacationed in a remote mountain cabin, a gang of bloodthirsty punks are attacked by the family secret, the deformed son. The title says it all. 79m/C VHS . Linda Blair, Tab Hunter, Guy Stockwell, Donna Wilkes, Nels Van Patten, Brad Wilson, Sharon Hughes, Robert Z'Dar, Billy Frank, Michelle Bensoussan, Mikel Angel; D: Joe Tornatore; W: Mikel Angel.