Michael Camille Image On The Edge Analysis

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Michael Camille, Image on the Edge (Chapter Three: In the Margins of the Cathedral), (Harvard University Press Ann Arbor: University of Michigan University Library, Scholarly Pub. Office 1992), 77-98. In his chapter on “margins” within a Gothic Cathedral, Michael Camille examines architectural features that act as symbols of marginalization and hierarchy. He looks specifically at gargoyles, quatrefoils and misericords that depict both fantastical and monstrous figures and those that include humans in the lower ranks of society, such as the mentally ill and farmers. He also examines the implications of their placement and who would be able to see these images, especially with public access to external gargoyles and the symbolic placement misericords and their figures being under the posteriors of the clergy. The specific placement dictated access to the images and further enforced the marginalization of those depicted and those unable to see them. To support his argument, Camille borrows from other scholars throughout history and does a relatively good job at introducing each source and their importance in the field. He repeatedly referred to the cathedral cryptographer Emile Mâle. He …show more content…
While she looks at some structures to examine the precedent, she is especially interested in Santa Chiara in Naples and why it is different from other Clarissan convents. She argues that as it became more important for women to be able to view the liturgy, specifically the Eucharist, it was necessary to move the choir for sisters to enhance their access to it. She discusses how convent architecture was often designed in a way to enclose and seclude the sisters from not only the laity, but also the male clergy. Thus, architectural changes had to be made to allow the sisters of the Clarissan order to see but not be

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