Fancy, Folly, Invention, Imagining, Divertissement, Capriccio, words more commonly used in architectural or musical discussion than in pictorial but the concept is just as common in the history of paintings as in those disciplines or literature. You could include in the genre works by Bosch,
and a friend or mine, now dead, Evan Charlton.
Caprice does not mean surreal, since that involves a subversion of reality, nor fantasy, which is the replacement of one reality with another, although there are elements of both. Caprices are lighter hearted and take liberties with the reality we see every day, although sometimes darkly.
Many of them give a nod to classical mythology and treat that rich and familiar world with the same capriciousness as the everyday one. Most caprices begin with the premise What if? For example, what if a building had no other purpose but to look ancient and ruined? What if Hell comprised of punishments specific to our personalities? What if women could fly?
Many of the past are architectural in nature, while others are religious or political. Mine, apart from the humour, reflect my love of human bodies, along with a passion for the techniques and subjects of late 19th century painting that’s been with me all my working life.
Having said that, friends of mine on holiday in Majorca said they saw one of my Caprices for real;