English Gothic Misericord Carvings: History from the Bottom Up by Betsy Chunko-Dominguez is the first book to move beyond textual dependence and traditional iconographic analysis when examining misericords. It likewise builds the most thorough discussion to date of the relationship between the misericord’s several potential audiences – including patron, craftsman, occupant of the seat, and modern viewer.
Beyond the bounds of misericord studies, there are implications here for study of the relationship between center and margin in late medieval art; and, indeed, what constitutes ‘center’ and ‘margin’ as conceptual realms. Ultimately, this book attempts both to re-integrate the study of misericords into the study of Gothic art in general, and to re-center them in relation to our understanding of late medieval culture.
accretion and hybridity wove a web of words and images with which to drape the universe and its occupants, both human and divine. Late-antique garment imagery is at once both highly imagistic and bluntly literal: you can turn a soul inside out to wash it through baptism, just as you wash a garment. This
post-modern literary criticism, the resulting ‘mash-ups’ provide interesting case studies, which explains the recent interest in Christian centos over the past few decades. Proba’s Jesus, intertextually rich and polyvalent, is a multi-literary hybrid, a composite of Vergilian lines that never lose
, but rather one who is dressed. 22 On the arch in Split, a dragon is shown with two legs and a tail ending in a serpent’s head. This is a remnant of various hybrid monsters which date back to the classical world, and it is closest to the mythical creature called an amphisbaena . In ancient Greek
golden apples, guarded by Atlas for Juno, represent the philosophical and astrological, thus human, arts of Atlas, which were stolen by Hercules, because virtue overcomes and wins over every human ingenuity; centaurs are simply armed men on horseback, interpreted as hybrid beasts by the first man who saw