Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Balthilde

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

Balthilde
b. circa 626, England; d. 680, Burgundy, France

Balthilde was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in a palace where King Clovis II of Burgundy took notice of her beauty and modesty. They were married in 649. As queen of Burgundy, she became renowned for her charity. She was also a skilled politician and succeeded in abolishing the trade in Christian slaves. When Clovis died, Balthilde served as queen regent until her youngest son came of age, at which time she gave up her royal status and entered a convent. She devoted the last part of her life to working with the poor and the ill. Balthilde was canonized around 880 by Pope Nicholas I.

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