Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan was a French writer and thinker. When she widowed at the age of 24 she was left with no income. Searching for financial support, she began to write ballads for the French court. Fame was brought to her by participation in the debate on the poem “Romance of the Rose”, which showed women as merciless temptresses. Pizan spoke against the hurtful and untrue representations of women in literary works. That is why she is considered a progenitor of modern feminism. On the illumination adorning the collection of moral proverbs, the artist showed her speaking to her son Jean standing before her. We have no doubt that she is teaching him by pointing to the words written in the book. The young man listens with his arms folded in a slightly rebelious pose, but his eyes are focused on his mother and on her words of wisdom. Pizan is a teacher of life for this young man.

Master of the Duke of Bedford, “Christine de Pizan giving instructions to her son Jean de Castel”, c. 1410-1414, The British Library

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