Deutsch

Time of Depression

Before the Return of Light

Andreani/Ridinger, Triumph of Death
The Arms of Death. Detail from “Triumph of Death” after Andrea Andreani

Ridinger
Great in Vanitates , too

 

Memento  Mori

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Memento Mori. On the bible lying on the table skull with several teeth missing. To its right vase with defoliating bouquet, left, as rarer, tray with soap-bubbles on which a four-fingered jagged bar with attached seal rests as well as burned down candle/light of life, on its stand a pair of candle scissors, behind it hour-glass and above curtain with large jagged tear-out for the curtain of life, but since the middle ages also symbol of the mysterious whose possibly religious solace is, however, already countered by the hole. Peeping out from under the bible and projecting beyond the edge of the table a blank sheet of paper with tear and dog’s ear. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. Elias Ridinger inv. et exc. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above and following. 20¼ × 16½ in (51.6 × 42 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Memento Mori

Provenance

Counts Faber-Castell

their Ridinger sale 1958

with its lot no. 145 on the underlay carton

Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen

(1922  –  2004)

Stillfried (3rd appendix to Thienemann, 1876) + Schwarz (Gutmann Collection, 1910) 1426, obviously both III (of III); Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940), 434 (without margin, supposedly ditto); Faber-Castell 145, state I (of III) just as the copy of the National Print Room Munich (1963:1644); Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1, 289 (1975, quoting Stillfried’s description); Ridinger Catalogue Kielce (1997), 172, II (of III) with ills.; Niemeyer, (The Vanitas Symbolism with Johann Elias Ridinger) in Wunderlich (ed.), L’Art Macabre 2, 2001, illustration p. 103 (state III).

Not in Thienemann (1856), Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.), Hamminger Collection (1895), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1554 items; 1900).

With  caption  in  Latin-German: “ … What you do think of the end, then you will never ever do evil”.

Earliest  version

of  this  pictorial-beautiful  vanitas  still-life

of  Ridinger’s  very  own

MEMENTO  MORI

worked  in  the  manner  of  the  Dutch  vanitates

as one of the most interesting rarities of Ridinger’s Œuvre., whose different three states obviously recorded here for the first time.

But with regard to the precious mezzotint technique in general – in Faber-Castell’s written inventory present here stressed by exclamation mark + underline as “Schabk!” (mezzotint) – Thienemann resumed already about 160 years ago with the words:

“ The  mezzotints  are  almost  not  available  in  the  trade  anymore

… all worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger (are) that rare that they are to be found almost only in some public, grand print rooms. I have come across most of the described ones only in the famous printroom at Dresden … ”

(pages VIII & 270).

A situation also possible, as here, new editions could change little as according to the expert Sandrart (1675) the technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off mezzotint plate only permits 50-60 good impressions.

Just as the present sujet, missing in Dresden, too, could be described then for the first time by Count Stillfried only 20 years after Thienemann’s visits to the print rooms. It documents the inseparable-multi-layered Ridinger, the artist in his entirety. For the “harmless“ Ridinger of common art historian’s judgement never existed thank goodness. Rather he remained

“ one  of  the  few  German  baroque  artists

… who … never  fell  into  oblivion ”

(Rolf Biedermann, [Master Drawings of German Baroque], 1987, p. 338). Here then his

Memento  Mori  in  the  1st state  of  the  copy  Counts  Faber-Castell .

See the complete description.

Offer no. 14,856 / price on application

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). S. Bernardus. Saint Bernard in three-quarter figure to the left, holding in the raised right a crucifix equipped with the instruments of torture, at whose foot the left additionally holds a  death’s-head. On the left on a stone plate two folios, on them austere tiara, and a further scourge rod. Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V., otherwise as above. 20½ × 16¾ in (52 × 42.4 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, St. Bernard

Provenance

Counts Faber-Castell

as before with its lot no. 174 on the underlay carton

Schwarz 1539 with ills. II, plate L; Faber-Castell 174; Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975), 215.

Not in Thienemann (1856), Stillfried (1876), Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Contrast-rich deep black impression with fine margins running around, in the right upper edge of the subject numbered with red chalk pen “71.”. Slightly time-marked, but of fine general impression. And rare, as proven etc. as before.

Offer no. 14,864 / EUR  570. / export price EUR  542. (c. US$ 655.) + shipping

Before  the  Background  of

what  makes  for  Jerusalem’s  Immortalness

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). In manus tuas com(m)endo Spiritum meum et hæc dicens expiravit. Luc. 23. Christ left alone in his hour of Good Friday darkened by clouds ad looking up to the right, at its foot

death’s-head + bones , persisting  hissing  snake + tempting  apple

as referring company. Broadly situated behind the Temple Mount with adjoining locality laterally left. Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. N. R. I. at the top of the cross / I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V., otherwise as above. 20⅜ × 15⅜ in (51.7 × 39.2 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Christ Crucified

Provenance

Counts Faber-Castell

as before with its lot no. 136 on the underlay carton

Th.-Stillfried (1876) + Schwarz (1910) 1408; Faber-Castell 136; Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975), 153.

Not in Thienemann (1856), Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Fine black impression rich in contrast – full  of  nuance  the  incidental  light  from  above – with WANGEN watermark as standing for contemporary impressions with margins of 7-10 mm running around. In the left half, optically disguised by the mezzotint technique, slightly waved and generally spotted as little perceptible in the subject. A throughout fine general impression maintained though.

Here  then  the  copy  Counts  Faber-Castell

as one of Ridinger’s nine crucifixions in their again and again varying fascination of the event.

Offer no. 14,863 / EUR  890. / export price EUR  846. (c. US$ 1023.) + shipping

The  Jerome  “Schwarz 1549”

and  now  unmasked  as  Doubtful  Fellow

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Saint Jerome. The inspiration of the saint. Three-quarter figure as hermit to the right with bare chest at a table with two folios, the left holding a quill resting on the opened right one of which. Right beside the inkstand, left of the table crucifix leaning against large cardinal hat. The hat itself leaning against double bookshelf. On this folios,  hour-glass , death’s-head  + torture scourge of Christ’s. The saint himself looking towards the back upper left from where the trombone of the Last Judgement conveys inspiration to him. The lion looking sternly from below the table. The whole within a frame with floral corner pieces. Below concluding large mussel-shaped cartouche within broad inscription field for entries of individual kind which both have been left empty here as the norm for the preserved copies. Mezzotint. Inscribed: in the mussel-shaped cartouche set into the upper ledge of the frame S. HIERONYMUS. / right below between the frame’s ledge and inscription field Ioh. Elias Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind. 22¾ × 16⅝ in (57.8 × 42.3 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, St. Jerome

Provenance

Counts Faber-Castell

as before with its lot no. 177 on the underlay carton

Compare Schwarz 1549 (20⅛ × 15⅛ in [51.1 × 38.5 cm]; variant in writing: “Elias” abbreviated after “l”, otherwise see below); Faber-Castell 177 (negligently as Schwarz 1549); Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975), 230 (as Schwarz).

Not in Thienemann (1856), Stillfried (1876), Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger; 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Enlarged + reversed  copy  of  Schwarz  1549  not  known  to  literature

on toned laid paper with watermark fleur-de-lis, probably contemporary, but also rather later. Noticeable that the enlarged format orients by other sheets of saints by Ridinger as e.g. the cardinal Jerome mezzotinted by Johann Jacob after Alessandro Marchesini (Schwarz 1548), though without the latter being “framed” likewise, or that of St. Mark Stillfried 1404, at which a note of Castell’s on the back of the present sheet points because of a similar scenery, by the way also lion  and  death’s-head.

Marvelous deep-brown impression with margins of 1.5-2 cm running around of perfect preservation with partial minimal touch of tiny foxing spots, three little rust spots feebly showing through from the back, and four small to tiny holes backed by old at the upper margin of the subject, reverse lower left remains of mounting, as nothing to reckoned at all. – On the underlay carton besides Castell’s reference to Gutmann (Schwarz) still another inscription by a different hand. The sheet seems to have been acquired in the English trade.

Sujet  from  the  core  of  ecclesiastical  history

to whose most prominent doctors Jerome (Stridon/Sdrin, Croatia, about 340/42 – Bethlehem 420 [419?]) loaded with a youthful past reckons.

“ … he (is) not only the most scholarly, but also the most eloquent among the Western Doctors … (and) in his biographies of St. Paul, Hilary, Malchus (he has)

right  actually  established  the  pious  novel ”

(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VIII (1888), 524.).

In his early years “he stayed for some time at Treves” in whose famous schools he continued his studies and got acquainted to monastic life. His episcopal chirotony is reported in the legends of the 15th century as dignity of Cardinal referred to here by the cardinal hat. 386 he took his permanent residence in Bethlehem where he founded a monastery and nunneries.

So he became, in his ranking likely compared with Augustine,  patron  of scientific associations, of teachers, students + pupils, of the theological faculties + Bible societies, but

also  against  eye-diseases ,

furthermore of Dalmatia + Lyon. September 30 as his dying day is considered his memorial day by Christian religions, for the Orthodox it is June 15.

Interesting  present  consideration  of  all  attributes  of  St.  Jerome

as the oversized cardinal hat joins the hermit and the lion the death’s-head. Rather it is hermit  or cardinal + lion  or death’s-head as then also in Ridinger’s representation of the Marchesini painting above as cardinal and just with the lion whom Jerome once had relieved of a thorn in the paw.

Offer no. 14,865 / EUR  485. / export price EUR  461. (c. US$ 557.) + shipping

Francis  of  Assisi

as  Undescribed  Variant  of  Th.1288

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). S. Franciscus Seraphicus. Saint Francis of Assisi in three-quarter figure to the right, meditating before opened book with inscription “DEUS MEUS ET OMNIA.”, death’s-head  + crucified seraph beside boulder overgrown with grass on top. The right of the folded hands with stigma. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iac. Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger exc. Aug. Vind. / S. | FRANCISCUS | SERAPHICUS. (in the upper loop of the otherwise empty mussel-shaped cartouche in the broad lower edge). 21½ × 16¾ in (54.6 × 42.5 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Francis of Assisi

Provenance

Counts Faber-Castell

as before with its lot no. 115 on the underlay carton

Compare Th. 1288 (c. 20¾ × 15⅜ in [52.6 × 39.1 cm]; without the engraver’s signature of Johann Jacob and only “A. V.” instead of “Aug. Vind.”; not mentioned book inscription + rock staffage; cf. Schwarz 1543, however not identical with Schwarz 1288 just for the format) – Schwarz 1288 (24⅜ × 19½ in [61.8 × 49.5 cm]; without the book inscription, but with the boulder background; shortened signature as Th.1288, its identity provisionally questioned by Schwarz) – Schwarz 1543 (22¼ × 16¼ in (56.4 × 41.2 cm]; with book inscription, but without the boulder, shortened signature as before, but “excud.” instead of only “exc.”). – Faber-Castell 115 (negligently as version Schwarz 1288). – As erroneously taking Th. + Schwarz 1288 for identical not in Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975).

Not in Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Undescribed  variant

to  Th. 1288 , Schwarz 1288 + 1543

of  the  fine  large  sheet  of  the  founder  of  the  Franciscan  order

(1182-1226) in warming rough vestment the cowl turned back with clear reference to his vision of a crucified seraph who “impressed (on him) under burning pain Jesus’ stigmata from which he got the name of the seraphic father , his order that of the seraphic brothers. Benedict XI allowed the Friars Minor a special feast of the

Stigmata  of  Saint  Francis

… and Paul V obliged all catholic ministers to the celebration of this” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VI, 588). Already two years after his death St. Francis, likewise honored by Catholics, Protestants, and even non-Christians for “his unique simplicity and a pure grace of spirit” (Paul Sabatier, Life of St. Francis of Assisi), was canonized by Gregory IX, former Cardinal Ugolino and cardinal governor of the Franciscan order.

According to current knowledge Ridinger dedicated eight versions or variants resp. to the saint,

but  solely  present  undescribed  variant

additionally  with  Johann  Jacob’s  signature  as  engraver .

Present in very fine, highly nuanced impression. The latter especially with regard to the coat dismissed by Thienemann as “rough hairy” which here in the meaning of Ridinger’s treatment of coat praised by Wolf Stubbe looks rather precious. And the intellectual content of the physical message reflected by the chiaroscuro.

With WANGEN watermark along with secondary mark as standing for contemporary impressions. The surrounding margin unevenly trimmed between the short extreme of 1 mm and 15 mm with mostly 10-15 mm on three sides. Two longer and three short traces of tears, each only minute, professionally restored and therefore without noticeably impairing of the also with respect to preservation very fine general impression. Backed besides three tiny tears in the white margin. – See the complete description.

Offer no. 14,860 / EUR  1730. / export price EUR  1644. (c. US$ 1988.) + shipping

“ The  Great  Sheet  of  Dance  Macabre ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Dance Macabre. Circular chain dance of nine women & skeletons around opened casket with two skeletons within and without the churchyard wall as centerpiece. In addition to it, placed back, chapel & charnel-house (?) along with walls. In the corners the Fall of Man – Golgotha – Eternal life & Purgatory , between two text-cartouches. In the outer field surrounded by 12 medallions together with text-cartouches for the dance of the men, separated by 8 (6 varying) vanitas attributes. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iacob Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vindel., otherwise as following. 25¾ × 18⅞ in (65.3 × 48 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Dance Macabre

Th.-Stillfried + Schwarz 1428. – Illustration in L’Art Macabre 2, Yearbook of the European Dance Macabre Society, Dusseldorf 2001, within the contribution here “The Vanitas Symbolism at Joh. El. Ridinger”.

State II (of II?) as the copy in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich, too. – The copies Stillfried, Schwarz and that of the sale Counts Faber-Castell (1958 as

“ The  great  sheet  of  Dance  Macabre / Main sheet ”)

not fixable in their states based on their descriptions. However, the one presented by Patrick Pollefeys on the internet proves to be the earlier, currently suppoesedly first state.

Not in Thienemann and in Dresden, see below, missing in the ample stocks of Weigel (1857) , Coppenrath (1889/90) , Wawra (1890) , Helbing (1900) , Rosenthal (1940) , and others more.

Typographic & figurative watermark. – Above and on the right fine small margin almost throughout, on the left and below predominantly trimmed on the platemark here 1.5 cm wide anyhow. – Upper half laid by old onto wide-margined laid paper per corner-montage, one of which loosened, causing a repaired tear. Practically not impeding centerfold.

The  very  fine  copy  in  respect  of  printing  +  condition

of a cultivated collection of nuanced chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a way

of  greatest  rarity

not only on the market, as documented above, but in general. The one in question here then not even in Dresden, rather made known only in 1876 by Count Stillfried. The quotations there not absolutely correct.

The  first  of  the  large-sized  2-sheet  set

with the “Allegory of the Period of Life” as companion piece not present here (Th.-St. + Schwarz 1429; illustration of the copy in Augsburg in L’Art Macabre 2 as above)

as  a  culmination  of  Ridinger’s  vanitates

in updated repetition of an anonymous leaflet of the late 16th or early 17th century, in any case “before 1623” as the “demonstrably earliest and best known Dance Macabre illustration of this kind in the German-language area” (see Imke Lüders, Totenreigen-Totentanz, Totentanzillustrationen auf Flugblättern des Barock und ihre Rezeption, in L’Art Macabre 1, Dusseldorf 2000, along with illustrations).

The  grand  sheet  of  richest  thematic  here  present  for  the  first  time .

See the complete description.

Offer no. 28,933 / price on application

The  Rosy  Young  Woman

in  Contrast  to  Death’s-Head + Chain

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Saint Mary Magdalen in Penitence in the Desert. Half-length portrait sitting to the right at a boulder overgrown with flowers, the head turned to the upper left supported by the left while the right rests on a chalice standing on a slab together with  death’s-head  enclosed by a chain. To the left fine view at distant clouds. Above, coming from the upper edge of the picture filling, comet-like beam of light. Below broad field with center cartouche for entries of individual kind, both left empty as the norm with the preserved copies, but also without the name of the saint usually set into the latter. Mezzotint. 20¼ × 16¾ in (51.6 × 42.4 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mary Magdalene

Provenance

Counts Faber-Castell

as before with its lot no. 168 on the underlay carton

Compare Schwarz 1507 (20⅛ × 15¼ in [51.2 × 38.6 cm]; inscribed Ioh. Elias Ridinger exc.: Aug. Vind., with two soaring angel heads upper left in the clouds) as reduced repetition of Schwarz 1506 (26⅛ × 19¼ in [66.5 × 48.8 cm]; inscribed as before, but instead of the “exc.” “invent. et delin.” and without the angel heads); Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975), 192 (Schw. 1507); Faber-Castell 115 (negligently as Schwarz 1506!).

Not in Thienemann (1856), Stillfried (1876), Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Undescribed  variant

to  Schwarz  1507 + 1506

in  proof  before  all  letters

with the far more expressive beam of light instead of the informal usual puttos which furthermore is not, as the latter, set into the clouds, rather emanates from the utterly broad-flatted black devoid of contours above them. Being 3.8 cm wider than Schwarz 1507 and therefore beyond the tolerable of varying working of paper it must be proceeded from an independent version and not just from differing states of one and the same plate. Already Schwarz judged such a difference of dimensions accordingly as he questioned an identity of his Magdalen reading no. 1508 with the equal one of Th.-Stillfried 1421 not present to him for differing width (38.4 : 42 cm, thus similar here).

The  rosy  young  woman

–  after the evangelists one of the first and (John 20,1)

the first witness(es) resp. for the resurrection  –

in  contrast  to  death’s-head

and chain in the pictorial tradition of El Greco and Jusepe de Ribera and incomparably more charming than especially the sujet of Correggio’s reading Magdalen in idyllic landscape widely spread through steel engraving, but also over-excited other earlier depictions. That Ridinger used the death’s-head also in connection with the attribute of the book (said Schwarz 1508, Stillfried 1421) – just as his Italian contemporary Batoni, 1708-1787, but also already El Greco, 1541-1614 – follows with respect to his vanitates pervading the œuvre in manifold gradation without saying. But also picture-esthetically his present Magdalen with her elegantly draped bosom is a class of her own.

Marvelous  impression  of  adequate  preservation

with WANGEN watermark as standing for contemporary impressions with margins of 5-10 mm running around. Three differently long professionally smoothed out cross-folds no more perceptible from the front as a little restoring in height of the breast. Tiny rust spots in the sky part, three pinhead-small little holes right in the white paper (2) and image margin resp.

Offer no. 14,868 / EUR  1380. / export price EUR  1311. (c. US$ 1585.) + shipping

Before  the  Silhouette  of  Jerusalem

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Consummatum est. Before the silhouette of Jerusalem the dying Christ at the cross, looking down to the left at Mary, to the right John, both standing, the hands folded, and looking up. At the foot of the cross  death’s-head . Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. N. | R. I. at the top of the cross / Consummatum est. / I. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind. 22⅜ × 16⅝ in (56.7 × 42.3 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Christ Crucified

Provenance

Counts Faber-Castell

as before with its lot no. 109 on the underlay carton

Compare Th. 1274 (uncertain as being trimmed under loss of the title/inscription band) + Schwarz 1274 (22 × 15⅜ in [56 × 39.2 cm], variant of writing “CONSUMATUM EST.” + “J. Elias … exc. …”). – Faber-Castell 109 (without attention to the “mm” in Consummatum).

Not in Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Undescribed  (?)  variant

to  Schwarz  1274

of  the  atmospheric-delicate  large  sheet

far from all drama in very fine impression with possibly WANGEN watermark with margins 1-1.5 cm wide running around and irrespective of its time-markedness – perfectly smoothed out little crease folds throughout the sheet, thin paper spots, some pin-like tiny holes, little spore spots in the lower part of the subject – of optically roundly very fine general impression.

Here  then  the  copy  Counts  Faber-Castell

of  a  crucifixion  scene  of  quite  rare  intimacy

with  the  marvelously  nuanced  light  falling  in  from  above .

Offer no. 14,861 / EUR  956. / export price EUR  908. (c. US$ 1098.) + shipping


“ Hello again! It arrived this morning – everything fine and ready for framing! Thank you for your kind assistance. Best regards ”

(Mr. J. R. L., May 25, 2005)