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The Veiled Rebekah

European Art

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The Veiled Rebekah

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Giovanni Maria Benzoni
Italian, 1809–1873

Date

1864

Medium

Marble

Accession #

27.23

Dimensions

64 x 23 x 19 1/2 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 208

Description

This sculpture is a masterpiece of the kind of naturalistic carving popular in the 1800s. The skill Benzoni displayed in creating the perfect illusion of a diaphanous veil and clinging dress accounts for the celebrity of this particular composition.

The statue represents the Old Testament figure of Rebekah as she meets her bridegroom, Isaac, the son of Abraham. Rebekah’s lowered eyes and gesture of securing the veil at her throat signal her demure modesty, even as her left hand opens in welcome. In these subtle expressions, the artist has represented the ideal female attributes of the Victorian era.

Credit

Gift of Mrs. John B. Gordon