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“ America  you  have  it  better ,

than  our  Continent  the  old ”

( Goethe )

Good  Grand  Old  Party

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Vengeance of a Lowly on a Mighty is pernicious. Travelling through Europe on an educational trip an elephant – for the Indian poets

“ symbol  of  wisdom  and  sympathy …

Johann Elias Ridinger, Elephant on an educational trip

and  eight  elephants  support  the  universe ”

(Meyer’s Convers.-Lex., 4th ed., 510), one of them together then the leader of the Republicans, too, – inadvertently hurt a pert little fox whereupon its whole tribe considered to punish the colossus. But

shortly  “the  army  was  pulverized”.

Etching + engraving. (1744.) Inscribed: J. E. Ridinger inv. sculp. et excud., otherwise as above in German, French, and Latin. 13¼ × 9⅞ in (33.6 × 25.1 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 771. – Sheet 7 of the intellectually as optically exceedingly charming “Instructive Fables from the Animal Kingdom for the Improvement of the Manners

and  especially  for  the  Instruction  of  the  Youth ”

by which

“ Ridinger pursued a typical purpose of his epoch. A ‘Correction of Manners’ by the morale efficacy of art – though in quite a different manner – William Hogarth, almost of the same age as Ridinger, had attempted by his paintings and prints … Yet while Hogarth and Chodowiecki tried to gain recognition for their (identical) ideas by satirical sets, as A Rake’s Progress, 1735 … Ridinger built on the – especially suitable to him (that is, so he himself, ‘since the hoary times of the ancient ages’) – tradition of the animal fable ”

(Stefan Morét, Ridinger Catalog Darmstadt, 1999, p. 96).

“ The elephant did a travel to Europe … (and) came through a large forest and had the misfortune to tread off the tail of a young fox who was, by forwardness to view him, coming too near to him. The fox … set up a great shout and called to his folks to revenge this shame and insult, which

this  ( Non-European )

has done to him. All came to terms about this and considered how they could attack so that their revenge would be carried out. It did not lack of artfulness and rage, but, however, it went off badly. Some the elephant trampled to death, others he took up with his trunk

( “… in  the  trunk  they  have  an  almost  incredible  power …

by  which  they  can  deal  dreadful  strokes …” )

and threw them into the height … This went so to heart of an old fox that he set up to yell: Oh tyrannical manifestation! No, the elephant said,

on  such  a  revenge  such  a  deserts  follows ”

(Ridinger in the separate accompanying text).

Corresponding also with the Chinese wisdom “If the domination of the great becomes oppressive time has come to hold still, and the direct way would not be the shortest one.”

The watercolored original pen drawing in the same direction from the Weigel sale (not in the 1869 catalog of the bequeathed drawings), figuring as “Splendid, completely executed watercolor” per lot 110 on the 1890 Ridinger sale at Wawra in Vienna, now in a Bavarian Ridinger collection. That drawing in reverse used for the transfer on the copper-plate was on the market in the 1980s. And an executed study of the elephant in the 1990s in America.

Splendid  early  impression . – Without the numbering above right unknown in general, but appearing later. – Lying loosely on bluish-grey laid paper of the early 18th century watermarked SICKTE along with a C, open to the left, under a crown of a prince (Von Veltheim paper mill at Sickte, Lower Saxony) on which it was mounted in the second half of the 19th century. – Above mostly trimmed on platemark, otherwise throughout with a little margin additionally to the fine white platemark itself. – Brown stipples in the left ear of the elephant.

Offer no. 12,505 / EUR  649. / export price EUR  617. (c. US$ 673.) + shipping


“ ich habe kuerzlich Ihre web site über die Rugendasfamilie gefunden, welche ich von grosser inhaltlicher Qualität und Interesse finde … ”

(Señ. G. E., 19. Dezember 2003)