Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Margaret of Poréte

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

Margaret of Poréte
Date of birth unknown; d. 1310, Paris

The correct spelling of this name is MARGUERITE PORETE.

Little is known about the religious mystic Marguerite Porete. She may have been associated with the Beguines, semimonastic women who lived in religious communities but did not take vows. Around 1300, she wrote The Mirror of Simple Souls, a treatise on attaining higher spiritual consciousness. The book was condemned and publicly burned by the bishop of Cambrai. She continued to distribute the book despite the bishop's injunction that she not even speak of it. By late 1308, she was in a Paris prison and two years later was tried for heresy, convicted, and burned at the stake.

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