His naïve selfishness and vanity at times in these letters seem even like self-caricature.
1748 (figurative), 1750 (literal), from French caricature (18c.), from Italian caricatura "satirical picture; an exaggeration," literally "an overloading," from caricare "to load, exaggerate," from Vulgar Latin carricare "to load a car" (see charge (v.)). The Italian form had been used in English from 1680s and was common 18c.
1749, from caricature (n.). Related: Caricatured; caricaturing.
In art or literature, portrayal of an individual or thing that exaggerates and distorts prominent characteristics so as to make them appear ridiculous. Caricature is commonly a medium for satire.