Salar Jung Museum & the veiled Rebecca

Disclaimer: The veiled Rebecca statue by Giovanni Maria Benzoni & the book Rebecca by Daphne du Murier has no correlation whatsoever in the real world. Please excuse my book-fanatic mind that couldn’t help but fit in pieces of Rebecca, the book in a blog about the the veiled Rebecca, the masterpiece by Benzoni.

“I wish I was a woman of about thirty-six dressed in black satin with a string of pearls.”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

I was still a girl in my late 20s when I visited Salar Jung museum. In those days, I used to love my bob hair cut. Dressed in a cotton Kurta, I spent all my days buying Karachi biscuits & fresh water pearls during that Hyderabad trip in 2016,. On the last day of our trip, my husband intervened my shopping spree & planned a visit to Salar Jung Museum instead.

While shopping is therapeutic, a visit to Salar Jung museum was extraordinary, to say the least.

Why?

Allow me to explain:

The museum like many others in India is spread across a huge area. It’s actually one of the biggest museums in the world. You can’t see it all in one day. But sure you can try.

Over the years, the Nizam collected many valuable pieces, antiques & priceless artefacts. Many of those were stolen & went missing, of course. What remained is displayed in the museum today. From Raja Ravi Verma’s paintings to hard-to-find manuscripts, you can find practically everything of value inside this museum.

In the sculptures, paintings, carvings, ceramics, metallic artifacts, carpets, clocks, and furniture, you can see a glimpse pf Asia, Europe & North American from where these items were procured.

There are many an item in the museum that can take your breath away, but I was blown away by the magic in marble – the veiled Rebecca. There are just a handful of these available in the world, and one of these pieces exist in India.

The veiled Rebecca, as the name suggests, has a veil, which has been carved out of marble. Each and every fold of the veil is visible and behind that, the face of Rebecca. Is it even humanly possible to carve a piece of such breathtaking art?!

Is it?

No, it can’t be. No human can do it. It seems the work of an artist who came down to Earth only to make it more beautiful and craft artistic wonders.

When you see ‘the veiled Rebecca’ the first time, you see only her & nothing else in the room. You look at her as if she would speak to you any minute now. It seems that she has got something to share. May be, some secrets that she has kept inside her for long.

The most lively thing in that museum was the veiled Rebecca that says something to you, conveys emotions and draw you to herself. Yes, she was the most lively even though there were hundreds of people around: families, fashionable teenagers, noisy kids, judgemental aunties & salaried people trying to live life in bursts over the weekends.

PS – Sorry about the few pictures on this blog. As it’s been a long time since we visited Salar Jung Museum, none of us can locate the pictures. And I have a strict policy of not using anyone else’s pictures on my blog. Hence, just the ones that we could find!

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