The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-Making in Medieval Art
Cambridge University Press
By examining the theme of idol-worship in medieval art, this book reveals the ideological basis of paintings, statues, and manuscript illuminations that depict the worship of false gods in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. By showing that images of idolatry stood for those outside the Church - pagans, Muslims, Jews, heretics, homosexuals - Camille sheds new light on how medieval society viewed both alien 'others' and itself. He links the abhorrence of worshipping false gods in images to an 'image-explosion' in the thirteenth century when the Christian Church was filled with cult statues, miracle-working relics, and 'real' representations in the new Gothic style. In attempting to bring the Gothic image to life, Camille shows how images can teach us about attitudes and beliefs in a particular society.