In this beautifully illustrated two-volume study, Ruth Mellinkoff has assembled and analyzed an extraordinary compilation of pictorial signs (motifs, attributes, and other artistic devices) used by medieval artists to identify and denigrate those figures deemed outcasts, such as Jews, heretics, Muslims, blacks, executioners, prostitutes, lepers, gamblers, footsoldiers, entertainers, and peasants. Among the signs treated are costume elements such as patterns and colors, and physical attributes such as skin and hair color, blemishes, and gestures. Mellinkoff focuses on art from northern Europe, with examples culled principally from the thirteenth into the middle of the sixteenth century.
The author poses important questions about the attitudes of Christian society, and nearly 700 images—most in color—are gathered in Volume Two to illustrate her observations. Outcasts will engage and challenge scholars and students of the visual arts and literature, history of religion, anthropology, sociology, and psychology for years to come.
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"A fascinating exploration of the various means that were developed, chiefly in the later Middle Ages, to characterize 'others' of various kinds."—Walter Cahn, Yale University
"Dr. Mellinkoff adds immensely to our knowledge of medieval symbolism, not merely in outline but also in sensitive detail. . . . More than that, she has demonstrated conclusively that the meaning conveyed by single iconographic elements is not fixed, but depends on their context."—Gavin Langmuir, Stanford University
"A fascinating exploration of the various means that were developed, chiefly in the later Middle Ages, to characterize 'others' of various kinds." (Walter Cahn, Yale University)
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Book Description University of California Press, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0520078152