For our second Lunchtime Research Talk we are delighted to welcome Professor Penelope Haralambidou who is Professor of Architecture and Spatial Culture and Director of Communications at The Bartlett School of Architecture/UCL. Her talk will focus on a project entitled City of Ladies: Remodelling Christine de Pizan’s proto-feminist illuminated manuscript.
‘City of Ladies’ studies ‘The Book of the City of Ladies’, 1405, by Italian/French medieval author Christine de Pizan (1364 – c.1430). The text is part of a compilation assembled for Queen Isabeau of Bavaria between 1410 – 1414 (Harley MS 4431) the largest surviving collected manuscript of her works and one of the foundation manuscripts at the British Library. In the book, de Pizan describes her visitation by three female Virtues, Reason, Rectitude and Justice, who commission her with the construction of an imaginary city inhabited solely by women. Conflating the act of writing a book and the construction of an imaginary city with building a thesis against misogyny, her work has been seen as a proto–feminist manifesto.
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1 Penelope Haralambidou, City of Ladies, 2020. Photograph: Andy Keate
2 Penelope Haralambidou, City of Ladies, 2020. Elevation: John Cruwys
3 Penelope Haralambidou, City of Ladies, 2020. Photograph: John Cruwys