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

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

Baudonivia
Flourished circa 600, Poitiers, France

Baudonivia was a nun and scholar at the convent of Poitiers who, between 600 and 602, was asked by the other nuns to compose a memoir of their founder, Radegund. Relying on memory (Baudonivia knew Radegund as a child), an earlier biography written by the bishop and poet Venantius Fortunatus, and hagiographical sources, Baudovinia created a portrait of a deeply devout but politically shrewd woman who used her worldly power to sustain the monastery. Scholars have noted the thematic differences between Fortunatus' and Baudonivia's biographies: whereas the former focuses on Radegund's deference to authority, the latter highlights her role as diplomat and protector of her community of nuns.

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