VEILED REBECCA AND MEPHISTOPHELES

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Published on: April 5, 2015

WHAT : A Beautiful Lady Sculpted in Marble and a Two Faced Devil Carved In Wood!! WHERE :  SALAR JUNG MUSEUM – HYDERABAD, INDIA The OMG Factor!!! If there is one statue that is sure to captivate you in Hyderabad then I believe it would be this one for sure!! The Veiled Rebecca is a […]

WHAT : A Beautiful Lady Sculpted in Marble and a Two Faced Devil Carved In Wood!!

WHERE :  SALAR JUNG MUSEUM – HYDERABAD, INDIA

The OMG Factor!!!

Veiled Rebecca - Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
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Veiled Rebecca – Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

If there is one statue that is sure to captivate you in Hyderabad then I believe it would be this one for sure!!

The Veiled Rebecca is a sculpture created by an Italian sculptor, Giovanni Maria Benzoni in late 19th Century.

In the Hebrew Bible, Rebecca is the bride of Isaac. She is covered in a transparent veil during their wedding. This sculpture represents innocence and purity as Giovanni Benzoni skillfully creates the appearance of a transparent veil, an outstanding artistic creation.

It is believed that Benzioni made four copies of this statue. One is among the collection at the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad (India). There is also a copy at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Another one, completed in 1866, is in the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (USA).

Veiled Rebecca - Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
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Veiled Rebecca – Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

An interesting difference between the Veiled Rebecca statue at the Salar Jung Museum and the other statues is that the statue at Salar Jung Museum lifts her veil with her right hand while the other copies do so with the left hand.

Veiled Rebecca - Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
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Veiled Rebecca – Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

 

The other impressive statue worth mentioning is the wood carved statue of Mephistopheles.

 

Mephistopheles. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
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Mephistopheles. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

 

Carved out of a single block of wood, the famous double statue in Salar Jung Museum showing two life-size figures – Mephistopheles in front and Margaretta at the back–affords great delight to the visitors.

Haughty, sneering Mephistopheles and gentle, gracious Margaretta, carved back to back, provide peerless studies of two diametrically opposite characters from the famous German drama “Faust” by Goethe.

Mephistopheles. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
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Mephistopheles. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

In the drama, Margaretta and Mephistopheles symbolise good and evil respectively. With rare ingenuity, remarkable insight into the characters and superb craftsmanship, the sculptor has brought out in one piece of wood the agents of love and hate in all their life-like attitudes and elements.

Mephistopheles. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad
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Mephistopheles. Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

MORE FROM SALAR JUNG MUSEUM

1) There are 38 galleries in the Museum spread over in three buildings viz., Central Block, Eastern Block and Western Block on two floors. Even then, the total exhibited art objects constitute a little over 25% of the entire collection.

The collections of the Salar Jung Museum are the mirrors of the past human environment, ranging from 2nd century B.C to early 20th century A.D of different cultures such as Greek, Roman, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Islamic of various countries and of various materials.

The collection of the Museum can be divided into Indian Art, Middle Eastern Art, Far Eastern Art, European Art and Children’s Section. Apart from this, a gallery is devoted to the illustrious Salar Jung family, which was mainly responsible for acquiring the collection.

2) Must Watch (and Most Watched!!) items :

– Veiled Rebecca a life sized marble statue sculpted by Italina Giovanni Batista in late 19th Century. It is truly a “melody in marble” and you will feel drawn to this work of art like most visitors do!!.

– Double statue (Mephistopheles and Margaretta) carved out of a single block of wood

– An antique clock with an ingenious mechanics in a toy guard strikes a gong on the hour

– The European section housing galleries for paintings, bronzes and sculptures.

PRACTICALITIES AND TIPS:

1) Located on the bank of the river Musi and adjacent to the High courts, the museum is a short rickshaw ride from Charminar area (Rs. 30/-)

Museum Location

The Museum has an easy approach by road and rail. The important railway Stations Kachiguda and Nampally are within a distance of three miles. Road transport buses run frequently from all parts of the city to Afzalgunj which is within walking distance from the museum.

2) It will take a better part of the day to enjoy all the wonderful artefacs that the museum has to offer at a leisurely pace.

3) No bags or cameras are allowed inside the museum. There is a cloak room behing the ticketing counter where you can safely deposit your bags and avluables and retain the locker key.

4) In case you need a guided tour, you can wait in the main lobby just past the security check point, where the timings fothe guided tours are also displayed.

5) Friday is the weekly holiday when the museum remains closed.

Museum Timings -10.00am to 5.00pm

Stay Inspired!!

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