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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Marie la Chapelle

b. 1769, Paris; d. 1821, Paris

Daughter of the renowned midwife Marie Dugés, Marie la Chapelle became director of the maternity ward at the Hôtel-Dieu, a hospital for the poor in Paris, after her mother’s death in 1797. La Chapelle delivered thousands of babies, recording her clinical observations and recommending improvements in the methods of childbirth. These were compiled in the three-volume, posthumously published Pratique des accouchemens, ou, Memoirs et observations choises, sur les points les plus importans de l’art; par Mme. Lachapelle, sagefemme en chef de la maison d’accouchement de Paris (Childbirth Practices, or memories and choice observations on the most important points of the art, by Madame Chapelle, midwife and head of the Paris childbed house).