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

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

Jacobe Felicie
Flourished circa 1322, Paris

Jacobe Felicie, more commonly called Jacoba, was a Parisian physician, successful despite a lack of formal training. She was summoned to court in 1322 on the charge of practicing medicine without a license. At trial, testimony was offered by her affluent clientele that she had indeed cured them where other (male) physicians had failed. Competence, however, was not the legal issue. Felicie was convicted and banned from the medical profession. Her case is one of many in the fourteenth century through which male, university-trained physicians eventually gained a monopoly over the nonobstetrical treatment of upper-class urban women.

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