art characterized by an incongruous mixture of parts of humans and animals interwoven with plants
1 grotesque, monstrous, unnatural
distorted and unnatural in shape or size; abnormal and hideous; "tales of grotesque serpents eight fathoms long that churned the seas"; "twisted into monstrous shapes"
2 antic, fantastic, fantastical, grotesque
ludicrously odd; "Hamlet's assumed antic disposition"; "fantastic Halloween costumes"; "a grotesque reflection in the mirror
I heard today on the History channel that grotesque was a word coined in the 1500's to describe the images of Nero's frescoes (part man part animal/monster images) when they were discovered; Nero; paranoid and crazed had created a monument to his insanity that was covered over and rediscovered, so it was said.
I'm trying to find confirmation of that claim.
this from allwords
adj grotesquer, grotesquest
1. Very unnatural or strange-looking, so as to cause fear or laughter.
Thesaurus: deformed, misshapen, hideous, ugly, monstrous, unnatural, gruesome, freakish, macabre, gothic, strange, bizarre.
2. Exaggerated; ridiculous; absurd.
1. A 16c style in art which features animals, plants and people mixed together in a strange or fantastic manner.
Form: the grotesque
2. A work of art in this style.
Grotesque objects collectively.
Etymology: 16c as crotesque: from Italian pittura grottesca cave painting, from grotta cave.
so much for the History channels credibility.