Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Anne of Brittany

signature image

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

Anne of Brittany
b. 1477, Nantes, France; d. 1514, Blois, France

In 1488, Anne succeeded her father as ruler of the independent duchy of Brittany, which had maintained a precarious autonomy against repeated incursions by the French and English. Now its future depended upon the marriage of its eleven-year-old duchess. Desperate to avoid annexation to France, Anne arranged to marry Maximilian of Austria, prompting the French king, Charles VIII, to invade Brittany. By the end of 1491, Anne had been forced into an agreement that included marriage to Charles and, should he die before Anne, to his successor. Charles did, in fact, leave Anne a widow, and she married Louis XII in 1499. Thus, she was twice crowned queen of France. An intelligent, cultivated woman, a patron of the arts and a bibliophile, Anne brought to the French court an entourage of women employed as secretaries, librarians, and chamberlains. She introduced the Maids of Honor, or ladies-in-waiting, and she sponsored the writing, translation, and publication of literary works about women, including the first French edition of Christine de Pisan's Book of the City of Ladies.

Related Place Setting

Isabella d'Este

Related Heritage Floor Entries

Catherine Adorni
Laura Ammanati
Isabella Andreini
Anne of Beaujeu
Lucrezia Borgia
Dorotea Bucca
Francesca Caccini
Laura Cereta
Vittoria Colonna
Caterina Cornaro
Isabella Cortesi
Novella D'Andrea
Tullia D'Aragona
Marie de Medici
Jeanne de Montfort
Annabella Drummond

Cassandra Fidelis
Veronica Gambara
Alessandra Giliani
Elizabetta Gonzaga
Isabella of Lorraine
Mahaut of Artois
Baptista Malatesta
Mathilda of Germany
Tarquinia Molza
Olympia Morata
Caterina Sforzia
Agnes Sorel
Gaspara Stampa
Barbara Strozzi
Lucrezia Tournabuoni
Yolanda of Aragon