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summer , more  summerly  –  Watteau

And  a  little  question  beforehand

that was put up to us recently by the Artistic Development Coordinator of a theatre group in the Australian Queensland in connection with our tracing of Watteau’s models in the œuvre of Ridinger, if we would possibly know origin and melody of the following lovely vers

“ We  will  wander  on  together ,

through  the  sunny  summer  weather

to  our  cosy  little  château

like  a  pastoral  by  Watteau ”.

One had already come to know that the song figurated in Noel Coward’s “We were dancing” – and just his “Shadow Play” it shall enrich now – , but the informant was neither able to verify the original source nor the melody and also “Coward’s Complete Recordings” were negative. And therefore for the time being one strives to hear the melody from within of oneself, but would like to know more beyond the staging.

Can  someone  lend  a  helping  hand ?

In the meantime here beyond all temporal sunny summer weather three “Watteaus” recently discovered by your ridinger gallery, how Ridinger caught their atmosphere and animated it in the velvety engraving of the precious mezzotint technique, inviting his and Watteau’s friends to let never end summertime inside via the four walls at home.

 

A  Sun  in  the  Work  of  Watteau

Cythera  (Cerigo)

– the  Isle  of  Love  in  Greek  Mythology

picked  up  by  Ridinger  as  found  out  here  for  the  first  time

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Cythera Lady (“Impudent but yet Gallant”). Coquettish grande dame in three-quarter figure to the right, draped as richly as sophisticatedly up to pear jewels and gown falling three-dimensionally mussel-shaped, dancing with the arms spread in deeply staggered landscape with the opened right downright reaching for the ripe grapes on the left as an art-historical symbol of fertility following psalm 128,3. In the background a two-master lies under sails before the coast of a mountainous landscape. Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V. 19¼ × 14 in (48.8 × 35.4 cm).

Schwarz 1471 + plate II, XXX. – Not in Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876) and here besides the copies of von Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) + Count Faber-Castell (1958) not provable elsewhere. – Mounted by old at the corners on especially wide-margined buff laid paper which is slightly browned at two outer margins. – Right with tiny paper margin, otherwise mostly trimmed to platemark. – Caption in German-Latin. Till now its motto served as title due to not understanding the contents of the picture :

Johann Elias Ridinger, Cythera Lady

Impudent  but  yet  gallant .

Impudence  herself  dances  here , and  is  yet  called  gallant .
Wrong  name  makes  the  vices  only  known .

The, what literature overlooked till now,

wonderful  sujet  inspired  by  Watteau

in  a  brilliant  impression  of  best  condition

of a cultivated collection of perfectly bright chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a manner of quite extraordinary rarity not only on the market as quoted above, but in general, too. Already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart numbered “clean prints” of the velvety mezzotint manner at only c. “50 or 60” (!). “Soon after (the picture) grinds off for it not goes deeply into the copper.” Correspondingly Thienemann in 1856 :

“ The  mezzotints  are  almost  not  to  be  acquired  on  the  market  anymore …
and  the  by  far  largest  part  (of  them) …
(I  have)  only  found  (in  the  printroom)  at  Dresden. ”

Not  even  there  then  the  one  here

which subsequently remained unknown to Count Stillfried 20 years later, too!

Thematically  of  highest  charm

it is Ridinger’s autonomously treated recourse to that complex in the work of the contemporary of his early years that counts in its time and from then till today to the most admired paintings in art history, to

Antoine  Watteau’s

(Valenciennes 1684 – Nogent-sur-Marne 1721)

CYTHERA  GROUP

with the “Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera” (the Ionian island Cerigo as the lover’s isle of Greek mythology) of the Louvre as the primus inter pares by which Watteau reached his admission to the Académie on Saturday, August 28, 1717, “as painter of the ‘fête galante’” as the original title “Le pélerinage à l’isle de Cithère” was correctingly re-titled in the record of the session. It is

“ (t)he  work  which  unites  all  qualities  of  W.’s  art ”

(Jahn 1957). Of equal standing “The Embarkation to Cythera” in Berlin as the supposedly last Watteau acquisition by Frederick the Great (between 1752 and 1765) whose purchase from the Hohenzollern for 15 million marks in the past early ’80s was then as spectacular as cheap from today’s point of view. Listed as replica only by literature for long “The differences between the two version (are) numerous”. Early predecessor of both is “The Isle of Cythera” from 1709, also purchased in the early ’80s for the Städel in Frankfort/Main, “an upbeat … the first idea for the celebrated works in the Louvre and in Berlin”.

“ For almost a century one tried to identify the literary or graphic sources which might have inspired Watteau, and to find out up to which grade he transferred and interpreted them. One understand well why the Frankfort painting attracts the attention of the experts that much as it is the indispensable initial step to understanding and interpretation of the two embarkations. Louis de Fourcaud (1904) identified the literary source which is generally accepted till today: ‘Les trois Cousines’ (1700; see on this further below and Ridinger’s ”The Lady with the Mask“) a comedy in three acts by Dancourt (1661-1725). This ‘village story, livened up by interludes’, was newly staged by the Comédie Française in 1709 … The pictorial sources of the work are less visible … Nevertheless there is a definite (and famous) source: Watteau borrowed the idea of the pilgrimess … from the love garden by Rubens … ”

Contrary to the handed down literary source repeated by Pierre Rosenberg François Moureau’s contribution (Watteau in his Time) at the same place, see ending (pp. 469 ff. and here especially p. 500) opens a differing point of view :

“ For a long time one stuck doggedly to search in the direction of the Comédie-Française and the Trois Cousines … Actually the Isle of Cythera in Watteau’s work develops from quite different sources, originating from the fair and the Opéra in the first years of the second decade of the century, about between 1710 and 1715. Before and after this moment shippings to Cythera are decidedly rare on the stages of Paris. It seem unnecessary to emphasize how much this simple fact elucidates the (3) works painted by Watteau … in the full rapture of the cytherian plays. This fashion was started by the fair in a time in which it imitated the great opera stage with the Opéra comique that light-heartedly. In fact the origin of the theme lies in the theatre at the court and in the city, that was previously created at the Opéra … ”

Otherwise, and this has to be taken up again for Ridinger’s “Cythera Lady”, there also is no common opinion if the Louvre painting – and analogously the one in Berlin – represents a leaving to or a return from the island. Ultimately both are “just as much a ‘Pilgrimage’ as an allegory. The island itself is a ‘non lieu’, a place thought (Schefer, 1962). The painting is both inaction and action, a moment in the time and timeless”.

“ And so Watteau has wanted it (what explains the great success of his painting). The ‘Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera’, which was painted fast, but ripened slowly, represents an ambiguous work that gave and still gives rise to interpretations which might look contradictory, but in reality complement one another.

Its  extraordinary  fascination

for  the  Painters

(Turner, Monet), and the poets (Verlaine), the musicians (Debussy) and the writers (Proust), and in the farest sense for the public, cannot be explained else …

Can one insist based on these changes that the paintings in the Louvre and in Berlin do not represent the same scene, that accordingly to the different current interpretations this scene should be a departure  to  the Isle of Cythera, a departure  from  Cythera, or an allegory of the erotic poetry and gallant plays? A single author, Claude Ferraton (1975) … makes this hypothesis his own. For him the painting in the Louvre is a ‘Departure for Cythera’, that in Berlin plays  on  the island … He says (also from this a reference to Ridinger arises) that the missing mountains in the background can be explained only by the scene happening on the island. But for him especially the painting in Paris represents the future love, the ideal, the dreamt love, that in Berlin the consummate love after which one can do nothing but go home. ”

Both the paintings in Frankfort as in Berlin were engraved in 1730 and 1733 resp. for the “Recueil Jullienne” as Watteau’s complete edition published by the friend and collector Jean de Jullienne. And doubtless this gallery work served Ridinger for his works after Watteau, so also for Thienemann-Stillfried 1396/97 and Schwarz 1464/65, Schwarz 1458 (supposedly more correctly only indirectly with, see currently here per 28,407) + 1460 (28,403) which he copied by no means slavishly (as at least 1397 could convey to the only inattentive look), from which he just borrowed a detail in cases (1460 and, quite conditionally only, 1458) or, according to the current knowledge here at least, was just inspired by these as in the case of the “Cythera Lady” here, at which only for information should be suggestive also of Thienemann’s reference to the set of the Four Seasons 1181/84 (available their second version Th. 1193/96) the first three stations of which represented by ladies of rising age, after which Ridinger has quoted in this connection “from the works of (Hyacinthe) Rigaud (1659-1743) and other French portraitists”. For the “Cythera Lady” is in no way their sister. She stands for fire and temptation.

Yet his “Cythera Lady” is also neither taken from Watteau’s three Cythera paintings nor from his “Coquettes” in Petersburg also published in print in the Recueil Jullienne of which one, the one with the mask, also plays into the Cythera theme and who Ridinger borrowed thematically autonomously for his “Lady with the Mask”. And via this the coquette of “Impudent but yet Gallant” (“gallant” quite in the wording of sources + literature: “come and be witness of our gallant parties”; “Watteau’s gallant ships”; “Cythera is an idealization of the new ‘gallant’ style of aristocratic life”) reveals herself actually only, though consequently. For from the intensive occupation with Watteau substantiated in such a way and going beyond Stillfried/Schwarz’ 4-sheet set above, here lately proven for Schwarz 1460, too, the question about the sense of the ship in the background arises by itself. Which Watteau’s work answers readily.

Together also not answering the question at which station of the journey the lady has to be seen. In regard of the mountains raising behind the ship the island only should be visited according to the interpretation above. However: the lady turns her back to the ship and the scenical voluptuousness of the foreground with the dominating vine bearing full grapes as synonym for Bacchus who is that important in the sources offer the impression of happiness  on  the island, for which she stands by herself, too. And both during the departure of the Louvre painting and during the supposed forthcoming return of that in Berlin the groups are predominantly placed at the water, they look more or less at it and in the case of the Berlin picture at the ship, too. Only the painting in Frankfort gives the impression beyond of departure and return. That is the destination itself, the joyful enjoyment. Accordingly the dominating central group is turned to the viewer. Quite as Ridinger’s now “Lady”. With the ship lying visibly behind in her back, whose sails are nevertheless still “swollen by the love”. The heights may then be just a repoussoir, particularly as their existence on the Louvre painting stressed today remained unknown to Ridinger as it was not engraved in the 18th century.

That in the end Watteau warmed himself in no way at the purely mythological Aphrodite cult the “Sailboats of Saint-Cloud” of his days prove. These “boats of joys drove the townspeople allured by a short gallant adventure from Paris to the park of Saint-Cloud, the residence of the House of Orléans. The mystic superimposition of the theme of the travel to Cythera and the escapade to Saint-Cloud is perfectly present to the people of that time”. And accordingly the marble balustrade of the picture in Frankfort “that reminds of the Borromaeic islands is quite prosaically inspired by the railing at the small cascade in Saint-Cloud”. Accordingly

“ ‘Happy, departed from the normal path, he let us see love among these new groups, and showed us

the  nymphs  of  our  days

as  charming  as  Cythera’

Abbé Fraguier wrote in his Epitaph de Watteau who assigns the modern Cythera definitely to a reality and not a myth … ”

(Moureau).

Remains the never ending discussion of a never ending theme. And a reference to its richly illustrated and documented treatment in the Watteau Catalogue by Morgan Grasselli and Rosenberg to the 1984/85 touring exhibition Washington – Paris – Berlin, from which, with the exception of that by Jahn, all quotations have been taken (see there i. a. on G 9, G 61 + G 62).

And it remains a “Minimized Ridinger” (Niemeyer) surprising again with a

thematically  quite  extraordinarily  charming  +  optically  quite  marvelous  sheet

of  together  exceptional  rarity

by which he closes up to Watteau of whom Moureau states :

“ … the isles of love have (then) an ideological meaning which surpasses their role as simple place of the gallant allegory by far. This touch of ‘libertinage’ which bewilders one in Watteau’s work, this touch that is ‘turned to Cythera’ … should be examined thoroughly. The ways to Cythera run on philosophical ways … The painter whose ‘intellectual libertinage’ Caylus (painter friend + biographer of W.) emphasized especially … of whom Gersaint (gallery friend + biographer of W.) said that he adhered to ‘the spirit of the libertinage’, ‘but (was) decent in his way of life’ … this Watteau still offers some surprises ”

(Moureau). – Quite as Ridinger.

For whom after the evidences of manifold intensive occupation with Watteau above, all inscribed with the “excudit” only, last, but not least, is confirmed that his “excudit”, beginning with Thienemann commonly regarded as the publisher’s address only though in the sense of Langenscheidt it can in fact include the inventor/sculptor as additionally “has engraved or worked it”, at least partially refers to himself as the artistic spiritus rector indeed and not just at the publisher. The “ipse inv.” on the famous “Self-Portrait in the Forest”, Thienemann XIX, 1, perhaps attached only erroneously by Martin Elias on occasion of his transfer to the plate, is in this regard nevertheless clear. It is equally clear, too, as lately proven here, that this “Self-Portrait” has its great example: the double portrait Watteau-Jullienne “Besides you I sit, below these lovely shadowy trees” of the “Recueil Jullienne”.

Offer no. 28,408 / price on application

Dietrich, Christian Wilhelm Ernst, called Dietricy (Weimar 1712 – Dresden 1774). The Nymphs. – Die Nymphen. Numerous group, more or less dressed, at a small pond below rocks, accompanied by putti and goats and sheep. On the left a little waterfall. Steel engraving by Alboth. 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: W. E. C. Dietrich pinxt. / Aboth sc., otherwise as above. 6⅛ × 6⅞ in (15.5 × 17.6 cm).

Offer no. 14,198 / EUR  43. (c. US$ 47.) + shipping

With  Watteau’s  “ Coquettes ”

+  the  “ Italian  Comedy ”  as  Origin ?

Even  the  Great  Desmares ?

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Lady with the Mask. Three-quarter figure sitting to the right at a pillar, the head bowed to the left, holding in her right, “a classic symbol”, a black mask. Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V., otherwise as following. 19⅛ × 13¾ in (48.6 × 34.9 cm).

Schwarz 1458 + plate II, XVII. – Not in Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876) and besides the copies of von Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) + Counts Faber-Castell (1958) here not provable elsewhere. – Mounted by old at the corners on especially wide-margined buff laid paper which is slightly browned at three outer margins. – Three sides almost throughout with tiny margins, only on the left predominantly trimmed to platemark. – Caption in German-Latin:

Johann Elias Ridinger, Lady with Mask

Different  from  the  outside  than  on  the  inside .

Black  on  the  outside  and  masked , on  the  inside  white  and  beautiful .
Oh!  some  one  sees  black  going  in  white  mask .

According to Schwarz “reverse copy after Coypel ‘Mad. de ** (Mouchy) en habit de Bal’, engraved by L. Surugue” (in that case supposedly more correctly in reverse after Surugue and thus again in the same direction as Coypel as the mask rests in the right hand). – Identical with Thieme-Becker’s (Charles-Antoine Coypel, 1694 Paris 1752, vol. VIII, p. 28/I) “‘Mme de Mombay’ (pastel, engraved by Surugue)”? Nagler, Pierre Louis Surugue, Paris 1717 – 1771, no. 4 with the addition in parentheses “Mouchy” as taken over by Schwarz, nevertheless adding

“ Some  believe  the  lady  is  Mme.  de  Pompadour ” .

Anyhow, so Thieme-Becker, “(Coypel) co-worked at the decorations of the palace at Versailles, the chambers of Maria Lesczynskas and Mad. de Pompadour”.

To the opinion here, however, the real origin, as it should have been realized by Ridinger, too, may be more complex and leading back to  Watteau. And here to the “Coquettes” in Petersburg of about 1714/15 published shortly before 1731 in the Recueil Jullienne with calling in of “The Italian Comedy” in Berlin of about 1718 reproduced for the Recueil in 1734 (see G 29 + G 65 with (comparative) illustrations in the Watteau Catalogue mentioned above).

With the “Coquettes” it is the lady on the outer left of the group of four with the black boy at the balustrade who as the only one holds a black mask in her right. Her likewise low-necked gown is nevertheless not identical with the “Lady with the Mask” who neither wears headgear though hair ornaments. That “at first she did not wear headgear … (also was) dressed differently and had laid her mask on the balustrade” may have been known to Coypel perhaps, the Recueil engraving shows her already changed though.

Just as already the opinions diverge if Watteau’s Cythera group shows departure, return or stay, so in regard of the “Coquettes”

“ Since the 18th century the opinions on the theme of the painting are diverted. If one follows the anonymous author of the eight-liner (of the engraving) … then in the scene two young ladies appear who go masked to a ball to meet their ‘gallants’ there (in which, as already stressed, only for one a mask can be seen) … Mariette sees in the painting ‘people disguised for the ball’ … Lépicié speaks of a ‘return from the ball’. (Other contemporary authors) mention ‘masked persons who prepare themselves for a ball’ … Doubtless Fourcaud (1904) gets nearer to the truth when he speaks of ‘a family group during a gallant masquerade’: ‘obviously all figures originate from the sketch book’. Nevertheless in recent time not few authors are willing to identify the persons, especially Nemilova (1964) … and the names of the models. The Russian author does not want to hear anything of an allusion to the ball … but sees in the painting rather

actors  of  the  Comédie  Française  from  the  ‘Three  Cousins’

by Dancourt, as Italian actors (what corresponds to the traditional hypothesis), and identifies on the left

(the  famous  Charlotte)  Desmares  (1682-1753) …

To us the reasonable analysis by Fourcaud appears more suggestive; we see a group of friends of Watteau’s in the painting who were disguised imaginatively and arranged arbitrarily by the artist ”

(Pierre Rosenberg in Watteau Catalogue on G 29, the “Coquettes”).

At least the Desmares could belong to such a group of friends of the artist. Since

“ There were many reasons for Charlotte Desmares to meet Watteau: as famous tragedienne she herself was not too good for soubrette rôles in the ‘Dancourades’ – Colette in Les Trois Cousines … The nice of the great Champmeslé who produced the most beautiful rôles by Racines … Three works by Watteau … are considered as portraits of Mlle Desmares; Fourcaud (1904) even assumes that she is depicted on the ‘Isle of Cythera’ in Frankfort (G 9) … An engraving by Desplaces after Watteau shows her in the rôle of the pilgrimess (in the Trois Cousines) ”

(François Moureau in Watteau Catalogue, pp. 478 f.).

And Nemilova also sees the Desmares in the “Dreameress” in Chicago. On this Rosenberg ad G 26 :

“ No author of the 18th century, no catalogue speaks of the famous actress in connection with the ‘Dreameress’ … We know her portrait by Charles-Antoin  Coypel  that was painted short before her early resignation from the theatre in 1721 by the engraving by Bernard Lépicié … One should have to accept that it shows no similarity to the model of the painting in Chicago. But 1712-1714 Watteau was not yet an experienced portraitist. In any case we part the opinion of Nemilova and Roland-Michel

who  find  again  the  model  of  the  ‘Dreameress’  in  the  ‘Coquettes’ . ”

But there then by headgear and position only at the outer left, the – only – one with the mask! In this regard it neither can be overlooked that the – secured – actress of the “Italian Comedy” situated in the middle distance left herself is the only one of the group with a mask, here hold in her left. Because

“ Watteau always paints – except for the harlequin – the mask taken off the face, held in the hand, in a position he might have seen on a painting in the collection of Crozat: ‘Le Comédien qui tient un masque’ by Domenico Fetti, today in the Eremitage … The masks depicted by Watteau were esteemed by the people following fashion and visiting the costume balls at the opera … At a ‘Dame en habit de théatre’ (ills. 89) a relative correspondence with the work of Watteau can be stated ” (she, too, with the mask held in her hand)

(Moureau, op. cit., p. 530).

Finally noticeable that the “Dreameress”, the “Nervous Lover” (ills. 1 at G 26) as the actress with the mask of the “Italian Comedy” always sit/stand to the right, but look to the left. Quite as Ridinger’s “Lady with the Mask” after, so Schwarz, Coypel who shows himself tied to Watteau here and who painted the portrait of the Desmares. Without knowing its engraving by Lépicié nevertheless the objection:

is  “ The  Lady  with  the  Mask ”  the  Desmares ?

See the detail of the portrait ascribed to Santerre in the Watteau Catalogue, p. 525, with the remark the painter “often idealized (his models) by giving them a sophisticated and oval face”. Such one distinguishes the lady here, too, whose thoughtful-dreamy look is closer to the “Nervous Lover” than the “Dreameress” just showing self-confidence. Finally amazingly the accord of the bearing of sit and head at Coypel/Ridinger + Santerre, at the latter only to the left with look to the right.

Only in pure regard to the ball though the picture appears as a review after the return from the ball. With the mask as not only as an outward attribute, but “as an symbol in love-affairs” (Rosenberg). Just such Madame would be lost in thought here.

Keeping in mind Ridinger’s intensive occupation with Watteau his “excudit” for this

optically  so  especially  beautiful  sheet

is read like for an own work as above, too. As then also ditto in respect of printing and conservation.

Offer no. 28,407 / price on application

Lancret, Nicolas (1690 Paris 1743). La Fête Champêtre. The party in the open with the dancing pair. Below trees before grain-filed and property set back in the hills. In front right a gentleman teaching a dog giving paw. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1845. Inscribed: N. Lancret pinxt. / A. H. Payne sc., otherwise as above. 6 × 6¾ in (15.2 × 17.1 cm).

Lancret’s – “one of the most famous beside of Watteau” (Nagler) – very charming sujet, probably after one of the Berlin war losses “Dancing Couple in the Open” or “The Party in the Open” (Bernhard, Verlorene Werke der Malerei, pp. 69 f.).

Friendly with Watteau since the days of joint education in Gillot’s study the connection broke up when Lancret exhibited two paintings in the manner of the friend of which one believed this himself had painted them and congratulated him accordingly.

Offer no. 14,524 / EUR  76. (c. US$ 83.) + shipping

The  False  “Cellist”  of  Literature  –

A  True  Watteau !

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Gamba Player (Viola ga gamba). The collector Bougi (or the big-bellied friend Nicolas Vleughels?) with hat with plume below raised rich drapery, playing a viole de gambe with 7 chords and 7 ribs. Three quarter figure, sitting frontally to the left, the bowing right laid upon brickwork while to the right the balustrade of a terrace follows, opening the vista of for their part significantly seven cypresses. From their center a fountain shoots up. Mezzotint based on a detail by Watteau. After 1734. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V. 19⅛ × 13⅞ in (48.5 × 35.1 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Gamba Player

Schwarz 1460 + plate II, XIX (erroneously as “The Cellist”). – Not in Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876) and with the exception of Baron Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) here not provable elsewhere.

Already as “Very rare” (1894 Boerner LV, 317) to be found at best (so with Rosenthal 1940, correctly as viola, Counts Faber-Castell 1958 + K&F 1979) the version Schwarz 1459, plate II, XVIII, concentrated exclusively on the player set into a frame with caption, whose features up to the ear are worked perceptibly slightly less expressive and detailed, and this quite analogously to hat and plume, but also to the button tape of the jacket.

Yet  unknown  to  all

though the reference to Watteau to whom the richer version here is inevitably closer. Preserved in just one copy (Saint-Omer), Ridinger borrowed the sujet from Watteau’s “Bucolic Concert”, so the title of the reverse engraving Benoit II Audran worked for the “Recueil Jullienne” in 1734, which should have served Ridinger, just as other sheets of the “Recueil”, as model, not without having restored the correct direction for his purpose: M. Bougi bows with his right!

Assumed for 1716/17 Watteau’s painting – see its Audran representations in the Watteau Catalogue, pp. 33, 156, 351 and, as detail of Bougi, 551 – assembles in front of a park scenery with cypresses a party making music and singing with the gamba player shown in full figure as its centre. That this is the collector Bougi from Watteau’s circle of friends was handed down by the art dealer Mariette of whom by the way it was contested if he himself was also acquainted with Watteau. But in regard of Bougi there is uncertainty, too, as there are three possible. Who of these might have played an instrument? Otherwise

“ the persons which surround (Bougi) belong to his family as in the portrait by Sirois in the ‘Family Concert’ … in London … The place, one of the parks, the painter loved that much … ”

(see on this op. cit. pp. 33 f. + 43).

Ridinger now focusses the player indeed, but at the same time, and this contrary to Schwarz 1459, he gives his supposed ambience, also important for Watteau, back to him by rich drapery and park view. For his “Huntress” Thienemann 1110 Ridinger by the way used a park background equally determined by significantly upshooting cypresses.

With caption in German-Latin :

Empty  thoughts  banished  with  empty  sound .
The  empty  sound  of  the  violin  drives  away  empty  whims ,
O  could  this  fill  the  empty  head  often .

Alleged as own work as before, ditto in respect of printing and conservation. In the left knee quite minimal trace of scratching. –  THE  EXCEPTIONALLY  RARE  ALMOST  UNIQUE  SHEET  of  bewitching  charm .

Offer no. 28,403 / price on application

Watteau, Antoine (Valenciennes 1684 – Nogent-sur-Marne 1721). Fête Champêtre. Company enjoying themselves amorously and gallantly in a park above a pond with a statue of Venus on the right with cupid contending for the quiver with arrows. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1840. Inscribed: Watteau pinxt. / A. H. Payne sc., otherwise as above. 6⅛ × 6⅝ in (15.7 × 16.7 cm).

Reproduction in the same direction of the “admirable love party in Dresden” – Watteau Catalogue Washington etc. 1984/85, p. 407, ills. 3 – , thematically belonging to the “Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera” and the “Embarkation to Cythera” resp. in Paris and Berlin resp. (nos. 61 f. of the catalogue with ills.) in which the statue follows the latter, but without the second putto in the back of the goddess and the faun head and the Mars attributes at the pedestal.

Offer no. 14,509 / EUR  50. (c. US$ 55.) + shipping

Chodowiecki, Daniel (Danzig 1726 – Berlin 1801). Blind-Man’s Buff. – Blindekuhspiel. A gentleman together with a lady amidst a numerous party in a manorial garden below an ancient stature. On the right poplar walk, on the left the house. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1845. Inscribed: D. Chodowiecki pinxt. / A. H. Payne sc., otherwise as above. 7 × 8 in (17.7 × 20.2 cm).

The  larger-sized  very  charming  sujet  of  1768  in  the  succession  of  Watteau

after the lost painting in Berlin (Bernhard, Verlorene Werke der Malerei, p. 15).

Offer no. 14,525 / EUR  86. (c. US$ 94.) + shipping

Watteau, Antoine (Valenciennes 1684 – Nogent-sur-Marne 1721). The Terrace – Die Terrasse. Two separate companies in a park, the one in front with guitarist trying to win his belle. On the left a gallant shows his reverence to the back of a stone nymph while on the right two young girls rob a rose bush. Steel engraving by (supposedly Edward John, about 1797 – 1865) Roberts. C. 1840. Inscribed: Watteau pinxt. / Roberts sc., otherwise as above. 6⅛ × 6⅝ in (15.6 × 16.7 cm).

After the painting in Dresden, close to the Berlin Party in the Open with its central bench group, in its composition also to the Isle of Cythera in the Städel in Frankfort as expected with precise terrace in the lateral back field, items G 63 and G 9 along with (color) illustrations of the Watteau Catalog Washington etc. 1984/85.

Offer no. 11,877 / EUR  50. (c. US$ 55.) + shipping

Stothard, Thomas (1755 London 1834). The Bathers. Seven graces bathing in a mountain rivulet in rich landscape. Coloured steel engraving by Charles Cousen (Yorkshire c. 1819 – 1889). Inscribed: T. Stothard, R. A. Painter. / C. Cousen, Engraver., otherwise as above. 21 x 24.3 cm.

Brilliant in romance and colours. – Stothard “belongs to the minds who soared up from the depth to fame … In view of the strictness of style his drawings … (belong) to the best achievements of the English school” (Nagler). – See the complete description.

Offer no. 12,542 / EUR  189. (c. US$ 206.) + shipping


“ I am curious as to the history of this (original Ridinger printing) plate (I just bought) and the others you have offered. Did you purchase them from the Ridinger estate (indirectly, indeed) or a private collector? These are truly rare one of a kind pieces ”

(Mr. L. A. F., October 28, 2003)