Silent Night – Holy Night
Triptych of Our Lady
– Nossa Senhora –
to St. Luke’s Gospel
Johann Elias Ridinger
Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The Initial Event for he New Testament
Greetings , favored one !
And look, now , you will give birth to a son
you must call his name Jesus .
Archangel Gabriel with rich retinue appearing to Our Lady sitting with an open book at a table before a tent, pointing to the Holy Spirit – the dove – by which Mary is enlightened. The beam of enlightment enlarged with the IHS. Mary with glory of nine stars as symbol of pregnancy. On the right archway, below walls with vault and steps. The angels with, i. a., rosary, ring, and iris as the signs of later assumption. Mezzotint by surely Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784) after Johann Georg Bergmüller. Inscribed in the lower left in handwritten typography: Joh. Georg Bergmiler pinxit / Joh. Elias Ridinger excud. 24¾ × 17⅝ in (63 × 44.7 cm).
On the lower left trimmed almost to the platemark, otherwise with fine margins of up to 2 mm.
OUR LADY WITH THE CHILD
Nowhere else in the work of Ridinger
Mary’s soul is turned outside so completely beautifully ,
is the quiet togetherness with the child looking so pure to us
as the Miracle of the Holy Night
Sitting before a balustrade concluded by a vase, in the behind a manorial walk of cypresses. Mary with glory with 12 stars as for the month of christmas, the child with a simple one. In the middle of the unfilled text field in the lower margin ornamentic frame. Mezzotint by surely Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed in printed typography: I. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind. 62.6 x 44.8 cm. With surrounding margins of 1-3 mm.
THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS
with the spectacular view on the fulfillment of Good Friday
In the front on the right on a straw box the child held by Mary at his arm, behind her the announcing angel Gabriel (St. Luke 1, 26-37) and, to the middle, Joseph. On the left the group of the three shepherds, one holding a sheep. Above the mortals in and beyond the clouds many putti, carrying in anticipation the crown of thorns , nails , spear and cross, but still being held back by the archangel in view of the szenery at the crib. In the middle on the left another group of approaching shepherds. On the right outline of the stable. Mezzotint by surely Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784) supposedly after – so Schwarz and like the “Holy Family resting under a Tree” – Johann Georg Bergmüller. Inscribed in the lower left in handwritten typography: Joh. Elias Ridinger excud. A.V. 24⅞ × 17½ in (63.2 × 44.5 cm).
In the lower margin still plate dirt. Trimmed at both the upper corners on the platemark, otherwise with fine margins of up to 2 mm. – With only quite minimal rubbing in the clouds above Joseph and a tiny pin-like hole visible only against the light.
Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, 1975, vol. 1,1, nos. 173, 177 + 147; erlebnis ridinger, 1998, no. 30 with illustration.
Not in Thienemann (1856) + Graf Stillfried (1876). – Not in Coppenrath (1889/90), Reich auf Biehla (? 1894), Helbing (Cat. XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900, 1554 nos.), Horn (1903), J. Rosenthal (list 126, Joh. El. Ridinger, 1940, 444 nos.), Gräflich Faber-Castell (1958), Kunstsammlungen Augsburg (1996).
With watermarks WANGEN + (large) crown with appendix FAvI (ligated) as known for excellent early Ridinger states and mounted at five points on heavy handmade paper with typographic two-liner watermark. – Besides the mentioned individual marks of condition of almost untouched, best preserved freshness.
Of wonderful saturated light & shadow
and largest perfection ,
as for the collector of the old mezzotints mostly unreachable just because of the technique itself as – so the expert von Sandrart 1675 – the tinted plates allow just about “50 or 60 clean prints. Afterwards (the picture) soon grinds off”. This general rareness raised in case of the plates here by their character as commercial art as pictures of saint.
Became known only by the collecting activity of Baron Gutmann (catalogue Schwarz) the group of more than 120 mezzotints with religious contents reveals
the almost unknown Ridinger of faith
(since 1757 assessor at the matrimonial court of the Augsburg confession). First opening up these as an important aspect of the work of Ridinger was – according to our present knowledge – Th. Reich auf Biehla, whose rich Ridinger collection contained at its sale in 1894 (Boerner LV) already 28 pictures of saint, qualified without exemption as
“very rare” + “extremely rare” .
If also the ones of the Triptych of Our Lady were among of these cannot be decided by now. Here they are provable only for the high-ranking – and reaching far beyond Ridinger and his century – collection of von Gutmann.
JOHANN GEORG BERGMÜLLER
Türkheim, Swabia, 1688 – Augsburg 1762
is known to the Ridinger collector especially by the portrait of Ridinger with Diana, Thienemann XX, 2, worked in mezzotint by Johann Jakob Haid. Generally an estimated portrait painter he also worked – as episcopal cabinet painter – history pictures and frescos of mostly spiritual content. Among the latter Thieme-Becker mention four ceiling frescos on the life of Our Lady in the Pollheim chapel of the cathedral at Augsburg and a cyclus in 17 parts on the Passion in the Kreuzkirche.
“ Bergmüller is until the early twenties mostly engaged as painter (high altar) … In his mature work voluminous plastic figures are acting … ”
(Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon IX, 417).
Offer no. 13,198 / sold
“ Sir, yes, (the Rubens) is closer to the one in London (recte Dresden), but the one we have is on copper. Thank you for your time. Highest regards, D… A… (and yes America could use a blessing about now) ”
(Mr. D. A., November 4, 2003)