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Mission “Medieval Berlin” – the forgotten 14th century Queen from France

Racaire in BerlinAs I promised, I already took a first look through my photos from Berlin. At the very first day I visited the “Tiergarten Berlin” (the zoo) and the nearby aquarium.

Knowing that you would prefer to see some of my medieval photos first, I decided to skip this day for now and to start with day 2 and my very first museum visit.

What shall I say – it was truly amazing! I already found some lovely medieval art at the very first museum I visited. I spend some hours looking through the medieval collection and took about 2.300 photos. Well, I admit that this count surprised me but I think it is not unusual for me… *lol*

I decided to start with a very lovely piece of medieval art on display in the very first museum I visited:

The “forgotten 14th century Queen from France”

Racaire_Mission “Medieval Berlin” - the forgotten 14th century Queen from France

Like always I walked through the medieval collection, looking at the museum information, taking photos and suddenly there she was, just looking at me.

A beautiful and delicate face, a severe but loving look – every inch exquisite and gorgeous. She looked truly like a queen and after a short look at the museum information I could say for sure that she was a “Royal Donatrix”. She was indeed a 14th century queen from France.

I have seen several beautiful 14th century statues during the past – the Wien Museum in Vienna has some amazing royal statues from the 14th century on display – but this delicate lime stone face had something special. I still can’t say what this special thing is which fascinates me, but see and decide for yourself:


…and a closer look at her beautiful face and veil: 


 The information the Bode museum provides about her at this point is:

Paris about 1320/30
Königliche Stifterin / Royal Donatrix
Kalkstein / limestone
Probably donor of a chapel

Btw. I think the 14th century “costume nerds” among you have already noticed the lovely folds of her veil. I think the folds are very interesting and worth a closer look and therefore I put together some detail pictures of her veil for you:

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You can see how short the veil is – especially at the back – and the numerous folds at the sides at the front… This looks like a round or at least slightly oval veil and like a very nice way to fold a veil to get a slightly different look. I really like the arrangement of the folds at the front.

Some of you might have noticed that I wrote “The information the Bode museum provides about her at this point is…” – yes, there is much more to know about this lovely lady then what the museum gives at the small shield underneath the statue.

Auf den Spuren einer vergessenen Königin

Auf den Spuren einer vergessenen KöniginYou can’t imagine how surprised I was when I found this booklet about her in the museum shop of the Bode museum. You could translated the title with:

‘Following the marks of a forgotten queen’.

The booklet describes in detail how this delicate statue was analyzed and recently identified as “the statue of queen Jeanne de Navarre (German: Johanna I. von Navarra) as donor, Paris about 1305”.

It also shows other statues and related medieval artwork which helped to identify this statue. Furthermore it also gives in-depth details about the fashion details – like her crown, her veil,… – and how this fashion details helped to narrow down the time frame of the statue.

You can find this book on:
Amazon.com: Auf den Spuren einer vergessenen Königin
Amazon.de: Auf den Spuren einer vergessenen Königin – Ein Hauptwerk der Pariser Hofkunst im Bode-Museum

This is the first of the three museum catalogues I brought with me from Berlin and I am very looking forward to reading it one day… *lol*
So many great books and just so little time – I am sure you know this problem too…

Best regards Racaire