Christine de Pizan in her cell (or study). Illustration accompanies the Cent Ballades, in the Queen’s Manuscript of 1411-12, now in the British Library. In this important manuscript of her collected work presented to Queen Isabeau, Christine is, as is usual, portrayed in a blue gown with a white headdress.
Christine de Pizan (1363–c. 1430) was a Venetian-born late medieval author who challenged misogyny and stereotypes prevalent in the late medieval culture. As a poet, she was well known and highly regarded in her own day; she completed 41 works during her 30 year career (1399–1429), and can be regarded as Europe’s first professional woman writer. Her early courtly poetry is marked by her knowledge of aristocratic custom and fashion of the day, particularly involving women and the practice of chivalry.