Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Anna Dalassena Comnena

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Anna Dalassena Comnena
b. 1025; d. 1105, Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul)

Anna Dalassena Comnena was the powerful mother of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I (ruled 1081–1118). She was crowned empress during his reign, as opposed to Alexius' wife, the rightful claimant. She managed affairs of state while he was away on military campaigns and assumed the education of her granddaughter, Anna Comnena, who also rose to power in the Byzantine empire. According to her granddaughter, who recorded her family's history in the Alexiad, Anna Dalassena retired to the convent of Pantepoptes in Constantinople at the age of seventy-five.

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