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Sculpture, Vienna Bronze, Rebecca at the Well, Franz Bergman, Antique, Austria, c. 1900


Franz Bergman (1861-1936)
Rebecca at the Well
Vienna, Austria: c. 1900
Bronze, patinated
11.5 inches high, 11.5 inches wide, 11.5 inches deep

A bronze sculpture of the biblical story Rebecca at the Well, Genesis 24. Rebecca (sometimes spelled Rebeccah) is shown with a pitcher of water by a well, offering it to a servant sent by Abraham. Each figure is rendered in fine detail, with the rectangular well in the foreground, on a large rocky surface. According to the biblical story, Rebecca also offered water to the stranger’s camels; for her acts of kindness she was selected by Abraham to be the wife of Isaac.

The sculpture is inscribed in the base “Namgreb,” which is the last name of the artist, spelled backwards. Franz Bergman was a prolific and renowned sculptor, primarily making Vienna cold-painted bronzes in the Orientalist or Art Nouveau taste.¬† The offered example, is in patinated bronze, as issued, not painted. Sometimes this sculpture is referred to as being an inkwell, based on the proximate size of the well to an inkwell; nonetheless, it is more generally thought that the sculpture is otherwise overall¬† too large and important to have been intended as an inkwell.

Condition: Generally fine overall.