Synopses & Reviews
What do they all mean and#8211; the lascivious ape, autophagic dragons, pot-bellied heads, harp-playing asses, arse-kissing priests and somersaulting jongleurs to be found protruding from the edges of medieval buildings and in the margins of illuminated manuscripts? Michael Camille explores that riotous realm of marginal art, so often explained away as mere decoration or zany doodles, where resistance to social constraints flourished.
Medieval image-makers focused attention on the underside of society, the excluded and the ejected. Peasants, servants, prostitutes and beggars all found their place, along with knights and clerics, engaged in impudent antics in the margins of prayer-books or, as gargoyles, on the outsides of churches. Camille brings us to an understanding of how marginality functioned in medieval culture and shows us just how scandalous, subversive, and amazing the art of the time could be.
A witty and original account of a fascinating subject. Medieval manuscripts, buildings and sculpture abound with subversive, erotic or scatological marginalia. Why are they there? Do they undermine dogma or just provide light relief? Camille gives some closely-observed and convincing answers.-Chris Savage King, New Statesman and Society
Michael Camille is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, and is the author of The Mirror in Parchment: The Luttrell Psalter and the Making of Medieval England (Reaktion, 1998).
About the Author
was Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago.
Table of Contents
1. Making Margins
2. In the Margins of the Monastery
3. In the Margins of the Cathedral
4. In the Margins of the Court
5. In the Margins of the City
6. The End of the Edge
List of Illustrations