Image on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art


What do they all mean—the lascivious ape, autophagic dragons, potbellied 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? A groundbreaking, celebrated study of marginalia in mediaeval art, Michael Camille’s Image on the Edge explores this riotous realm so often explained away as mere decoration or zany doodles, a place where resistance to social constraints flourished. Along with their loftier subjects of knights and clerics, medieval image-makers focused attention on the underside of society, the excluded and the ejected. Peasants, servants, prostitutes, and beggars all found their place in their artworks, engaged in impudent antics in the margins of prayer-books or, as gargoyles, on the outsides of churches. Camille’s essays illuminate how marginality functioned in medieval culture, showing us just how scandalous, subversive, and amazing the art of the time could be.

This book is in hardback format and measures 14.5 x 2 x 22 cm.



  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 2 x 22 cm
  • Weight: 447 g
  • Author: Michael Camille
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Pages: 192
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781789140064