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Definition of GROTESQUE
a: a style of decorative art characterized by fanciful or fantastic human and animal forms often interwoven with foliage or similar figures that may distort the natural into absurdity, ugliness, or caricature
In architecture and decorative art, a mural or sculptural decoration combining animal, human, and plant forms. The word derives from the Italian grottesco, in reference to the grottolike underground rooms (grotte) where such ornaments were found during the excavation of Roman buildings c. 1500. The grotesque was revived in the Renaissance, and a fashion for it in 16th-century Italy quickly spread to the rest of Europe; it was used most frequently in fresco decoration (painted, carved, or molded) until the 19th century.