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“ The  (final)  triumph  of  (Brussels)  would  have  warped  and  restricted

the  development  of  the  freedom  we  now  enjoy … ”

 

In  matters  of  Hans  Magnus  Enzensberger’s

Brussels , Gentle  Monster

or

The  Disfranchisement  of  Europe

niemeyer’s reaches for his fund of rarities and demonstrates once more the “buoyancy of the old masters” (Eduard Beaucamp once in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), namely, the contemporary

GEORG  PHILIPP  RUGENDAS’ I

1666 Augsburg 1742

John  Churchill  Duke  of  Marlborough

Georg Philipp Rugendas I, Prince Eugene of Savoy&Georg Philipp Rugendas I, John Churchill Duke of Marlborough

Prince  Eugene  of  Savoy

as a top-rate brotherhood in arms, culminating in the victory of Blenheim/Höchstedt , who  “ gave  the  Spanish  War  of  Succession  a  decisive  turn ”. Yet foremost demonstrating by the first Marlborough that energy of Britain of whom his no less outstanding descendant, prime minister of the war Sir Winston, summed up in continuation of the above opening quote in his Marlborough classic, he “ broke irretrievably the exorbitant power of France ”. From which with regard to the increasing groaning of current first minds under Brussel’s assumption of power considered more and more intolarable the question follows

when  will  a  Marlborough  give  battle

to  the  “ gentle  monster ”  Brussels  ???

« While  in  the  Arab  world  people  rise

and  cry  for  self-determination  and  democracy

Europe  sinks  into  despotism .

Her  democratic  traditions  are  eroded  and  destroyed ,

her  citizens  harassed  and  led  by  the  nose »

Hubert Spiegel

( The Burocracy eats Her Citizens )

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 18, 2011

Both  the  Two  Monumental  Mezzotints

–  18½ × 14¼ in (46.9 × 36.2 cm); Teuscher 55 (not in Stillfried + Nagler,
who  both  know  only  the  version  T. 59 , which, however, not belongs to)

&

42.8 x 37 cm; Teuscher 58 (Stillfried 282 & Nagler 10;

the washed pen and ink drawing in the same direction
in the Witt Collection/Courtauld Institute Galleries London)  –

present  here  in

the  Copies  of  the  Von  Roemer  Collection

as together not just as then after all simultanously two of the superbly rare six leaves of Rugendas’ great

set  of  the  princes  on  horseback

on  galopping  white  horses  with  the  marshal’s  baton  in  the  right

of , really  up  to  date , (1713/1714),

used by Ridinger as stimulus for his own Princely Persons mounted on Horseback. Completely here not provable in literature anymore, they are nevertheless an extraordinarily attractive, quite personal temptation & seduction to achieve the peu à peu completion some day as perhaps then unique and moreover singular. But also in pictorial regard as when framed

the  two  riders  gallop  pendant-like  towards  each  other .

And, even more, in lifetime these two noblemen stood

in  closest  personal  connection  to  each  other :

“ … the  two  generals  crowned  with  glory  found … each  other  again . ”

That is since 1704 in the war of Austria and its allies against France with Bavaria.

“ June 10, (1704, Eugene) … met Marlborough on the Neckar who commanded the English auxiliary forces … Two months later … the two generals defeated the united Frenchmen and Bavarians in the decisive battle near Höchstädt. The capture of Landau, the expulsion of the French from Germany, the occupation of Bavaria by the Austrians were the immediate consequences of the brilliant victory ”

(Alfred Ritter von Arneth in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, VI [1877], pp. 409 & 411).

And so forth. Till the conclusions of peace of Utrecht & Rastatt (1713/14). And in their historic effectiveness surpassing still widely beyond these. Still 300 years later one thinks of the interplay of their personal bravery as setting standards. So when Eberhard Straub speaks on occasion of the Rheinsberg Prince Heinrich Exposition of Frederick the Great’s

“ military  boldnesses

in  the  tradition  of  the  Prince  Eugene

and  the  Duke  of  Marlborough ”

(FAZ August 12, 2002).

“ In 1688 Europe drew swords in a quarrel which, with one uneasy interlude, was to last for a quarter of a century. Since the duel between Rome and Cartharge there had been no such world war. It involved all the civilized people; it extended to every accessible part of the globe … Indeed, there are other remarkable similarities between this period and the early twentieth century. There was the same peril that the supremacy of one race and culture would be imposed by military force upon all others. There was the impotence of Europe without British aid; the slow but sure acceptance by England of the challenge and the call; and the same tremendous, increasing development of British effort during the struggle.

The wars of William and Anne were no mere effort of national ambition or territorial gain. They were in essentials

a  struggle  for  the  life  and  liberty

not only of England, but of Protestant Europe … The triumph of the France of Louis XIV would have warped and restricted the development of the freedom we now enjoy, even more than the domination of Napoleon or of the German Kaiser ”

(Winston S. Churchill, Marlborough, His Life and Times [Chicago 2002], vol. I, p. 16).

Yet in the early twentyfirst century, another century and even another world war later, there again is a remarkable resemblence with today’s Europe – “like a giant reeling helplessly towards his fate” (Frank Lübberding, FAZ, June 20, 2011) – when Dirk Schümer diagnoses the Belgian democracy – more than a year after national elections still being without a legitimate government – as “gently evaporated” and calls for a “Europe of the democratic nations” (Europe in the Crisis – Back to the Nation, in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, June 6, 2011).

 

« … and  that  government  of  the  people ,

by  the  people , for  the  people ,

shall  not  perish  from  the  earth … »

Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

 

And German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger analysis in his 2010 address of thanks on the reception of the Danish Sonning Prize awarded for outstanding contributions to European culture, which would become the core of his recent essay Brussels, the Gentle Monster, or The Disfranchisement of Europe:

“ Already from the foundation of the European Community Council of Ministers and Commision have taken care that the population has no say in their decisions. Just as if the constitutional battles of the nineteenth and twentieth century had never been they have arranged from the beginning a cabinet policy which negotiates all essentials in the back room. That this return to a pre-constitutional state of affairs could be healed by cosmetical corrections is not believed by anyone anymore. The democratic deficit conjured up widely therefore is nothing but a stylish expression for

the  political  expropriation  of  the  citizens .

A comparison (of the Treaty of Lisbon, a surrogate constitution) with the text of the American constitution shows that not only the language is played old Harry with. Also the sheer size of the document is suggestive. It is more than 180 pages strong …

Hannah Arendt has said the necessary on this fortyfive years ago. In Copenhagen she then spoke of the “pressure of a looming change of all forms of government which develop into bureaucracies, that is a rule neither of laws nor of humans, but of anonymous offices or computers whose entierly depersonalized supremacy may be more threatening for freedom and for that minimum of civility, without which social live cannot be imagined, than the most outrageous arbitrariness of tyrannies in the past’.

(The managers of the Union) … have … contrived a strategy, which shall immunize them against any criticism. He who contradicts their plans is made out as anti-European. From far this reminds of the rhetoric of senator Joseph McCarthy and the CPSU. What they did not like they used to slander, the one as ‘un-American activities’, the other as ‘anti-Soviet activities’ ”

(quoted from the slightly abridged documentation of the address in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Feb. 3, 2010).

« (Enzensberger)  analyses …

the  ‘phraseology’  of  a  EU  ‘deaf  to  history’

which  designates  her  highest  functionaries  as  ‘Commissioners’

as  there  had  been  in  European  history

neither  Soviet  People’s  Commissars

nor  the  Reichskommissars  of  the  National  Sozialists »

Hubert Spiegel

( The Burocracy eats Her Citizens )

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 18, 2011

Incidentally the very first recipient of the Sonning Prize was Sir Winston Churchill in 1950.

It might be left to anyone himself to decide if here we are not witnessing a late triumph of Louis XIV, the triumph of a renewed supremacy warping and restricting freedom and democracy, imposed on a still impotent Europe this time not by military force, but through a bureaucracy deliberately dominating each and every aspect of our life.

A domination from which Britain, frequently chastised for her Anglo-Saxon common sense and reluctance to fall in, to pass her rights, the rights and freedom of her people, to this post-democratic (Enzensberger) oligarchy euphemistically called a “Union”, and despite being engaged recently in a neo-colonial war at the side of France, stays apart to some degree so far.

And one might wonder if that “exorbitant power” was indeed that irretrievably broken as Churchill stated earlier in characterization of Marlborough:

“ Until the advent of Napoleon no commander wielded such widespread power in Europe … He was the head of the most glorious Administration in … the history (of England) when he led Europe, saved the Austrian Empire, and broke irretrievably the exorbitant power of France … ”

A sentiment which by no means should make forget the pivotal rôle of his European counterpart, Prince Eugene with whom he shared “a brotherhood in arms … unmatched between captains of equal fame” (op. cit, p. 17).

Both of their so adequate portraits by hands of the great Rugendas as a contemporary here then in very fine, highly nuanced impressions of rich chiaroscuro and likewise adequate preservation except for trimmed close to the platemark, in places on this itself and on the right on 3.5 cm on the edge of the subject. The Eugene sheet additionally slightly rubbed, two tiny and quite small scrapings resp. on the right in the margin, only minimally recognizable vertical fold from bottom till below the horse’s belly. – Mounted by old on laid paper whose margins have been laminated on the front frame-like with grey-bluish paper. The images theirselves braid with black surrounding line.

And  ultimately  qualified  by provenance of the portrait collection of father & son von Römer originating in the early 19th century which in 1871 devolved upon today’s Museum of Fine Arts Leipsic and was sold by this in 1924 obviously entirely (not only the duplicates as Lugt notes; see auction sale Boerner). Recto lower right its collection stamp “(Municipal Museum at Leipsic)” (Lugt 1669e), on the back the removal stamp “(Disposed by Museum of Fine Arts Leipsic)” (L. 1669f).

Teuscher states per no. 56 “c. 8 ll.” though she can describe six only (53-58). For the one she carries as 59 as “additional leaf” belongs neither stylistically nor in regard of size and caption to the set, would even be a repetition of the set-conforming portrait of Eugene here. Insofar she follows Stillfried’s error who incorporated it per 281 into the set not knowing it as Nagler neither. Also her quotation of Boerner there is unfounded as equally referring to 55 here and regarding St. 281 (T. 59/Nagler 8) as reproduction. See in this connection the extensive separate description, please.

In fact, too, the original set should be complete with the six leaves T. 53-58 as it – obviously as the one and only copy! – figured in the aforesaid Boerner sale “Collection of Engravings by Old Masters of the XVth-XVIIIth Century” as lot 1670 as follows :

“ The  beautiful , large  equestrian  portraits

in  marvelous , even , fresh  impressions …

All  mounted  by  old  on  blue  cardboard . ”

Ergo the in the meantime dissolved copy von Roemer from the Leipsic Museum to which both the present sheets, T. 55 & 58, belonged. With here

at  present  no  complete  copy  being  known  to  literature .

For its proof by Teuscher is now cut into pieces in the light of the above appendix here. And both the further copies in Coburg & Dresden called in there miss that of the Duke of Marlborough (T. 58), temporary Prince of Mindelheim.

Five each only Nagler described as individual plates and Count Stillfried possessed resp. Both note instead of the true Eugene its reproduction only (N. 8). Thus it should be one and the same copy which Nagler as antiquarian left to his customer. In Augsburg by the way with T. 54 one single leaf of the set only!

« (Georg  Philipp)  Rugendas  (I)

was  a  first  rate  talent  beyond  doubt ,

for  not  to  say  a  genius .

Doubtless ,  set  into  better  circumstances ,

e.g.  living  in  the  Netherlands  about  1650 ,

he  would  have  become  an  artist

who  would  have  surpassed

all  his  horse  and  battle  competitors . »

Wilhelm Schmidt

Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, XXIX [1889], p. 600

That this should be appended by Nagler 7 “Charles XII mounted on horseback with the sword in his hand as he drives the enemies ahead, one of the chief works of the master” as remained unknown to Teuscher seems to be unlikely by stylistic regards though, analogous to T. 53-58 (but not to T. 59!), also described by Nagler as “large folio”. For none of the six confirmed leaves of the set shows a general in contact with the enemy as mentioned for Charles XII as their contemporary. The latter then by the way as the one and only of these large prince leaves among the about 27,600 lots of parts I-XXVIII of Weigel’s Art Stock Catalogue (1838/57). Not one concerning T. 53-58! Their, and thereby of the one here, too,

rarity  thus  simply  superb !

And this not only because of special circumstances on the market but generally. 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 by the example of Ridinger :

“ 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 elder’s Georg Philipp large set of the “Princes on Horseback” as a whole, to which later the equal-named son let follow a yet with 34 x 22 cm markedly smaller one of his own of which Teuscher knows five leaves (429-433) with which T. 59 also not harmonizes. For the time of origin of the large ones by the father T. 53 sees as terminus post quem 1713 as only in that year his Frederick William (I) succeeded as king of Prussia. Since on the other hand Marlborough still figures as Princeps Mindelheimensis what became obsolete in 1714 the origin may be seen accordingly narrow.

While Nagler (1845) does not regard Rugendas as a “great Master in mezzotint” whose “compositions (were) designed full of life and always with genius though” – their first states should carry his “inv. et fec.” as here (later addresses not known here in this connection) or the address of Jeremias Wolff – Gode Krämer (1998) stresses the

“ technique  of  mezzotint  masterly  commanded  by  him ”

and qualifies him as “a that excellent etcher and mezzotint artist” who “in regard of Augsburg early made the mezzotint his own and introduced a new variant with the combination of the techniques of mezzotint and etching by the outline etching” (in Björn R. Kommer, ed., Rugendas / Eine Künstlerfamilie in Wandel und Tradition / Catalogue to the exhibition 1998, pp. 8 f.).

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« With  Robert  Menasse  (Enzensberger)  ultimately  raises  the  question

whether  the  classic  democracy

still  constitutes  an  obligation  in  the  comprehension  of  Brussels

or  is  not  rather  considered  as  an  obstacle

at  the  elimination  of  which  has  to  be  worked  assiduously »

Hubert Spiegel

( The Burocracy eats Her Citizens )

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 18, 2011

So  when  does  Brussels-enslaved  Europe  return

“ to  the  sources , to  the  mothers ” (Benn) ?  For

“ It  is  no  accident  that

the  only  uncompromising  democracy  on  earth ,

Wilhelm Riefstahl, Cantonal Assembly in East Switzerland

Switzerland,

floats  as  tiny  island  in  the  immense  sea  of  Euroland .

Switzerland  and  the  EU  are  not  compatible … ”

Dirk Schümer ,
Europe in the Crisis – Back to the Nation
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, June 6, 2011

Or  will  everything  stay  just  as  it  is ?  Quite  possible .

For as – free after Günter Neumann’s indeed ever memorable Berlin Insulaner cabaret – there the indoctrination comrade , so then here Commissar Brussels :

“ Suppose  which  community  is  the  most  democratic  in  the  world ?
Well … ?? ”

“ The  community  of  the  Swiss  in  Switzerland . ”

“ Wrong . Better  sit  down  quickly . ”

“ But  there  I  would  be  a  democrat , and  dare  to  be . ”

“ Yo’  muss  be  ravin’  mad . ”

« Europe  is , as  Enzensberger  calls  it ,

a  phenomenon  of  ‘post-democracy’ .

In  Germany , as  in  most  of  the  member  states , too ,

the  project  was  without  alternative  to  such  an  extent

that  EEC , Schengen  or  the  euro

were  never  put  to  the  vote … »

Dirk Schümer

( Europe in the Crisis – Back to the Nation )

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, June 8, 2011

“Here I am (Democrat) , dare (Democrat) to be”

Wilhelm Ludwig Friedrich Riefstahl

Neu-Strelitz, Mecklenburg, 1827 – Munich 1888

Landsgemeinde  in  East  Switzerland

Inauguration and swearing-in of the Landsgemeinde (Cantonal Assembly) on open field by the Landammann (chief magistrate) standing behind the elevated desk. By his side two councilors, further standing on a lower platform on his right, behind him the flags and banners of the communities belonging to. On both sides and in the background the citizens, mostly with side-arms (sword) as symbol of their right to vote. On the right also two bandsmen with drums. In the background mountain ridges. Toned wood engraving by F. Bauer for A. Cloß, Stuttgart. (1875-77.) Inscribed: W. Riefstahl (18)75. / F. Bauer, otherwise typographically as above. 16.9 x 25.5 cm.

On cantonal level today exercised in two cantons only anymore – Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus – the Landsgemeinde is one of the oldest forms of direct democracy in which every citizen entitled to vote can seize the word and bring forward a motion without first having to obtain further legitimization by membership in parties and party committees or the collection of signatures:

“ It is no accident that the only uncompromising democracy on earth, Switzerland, floats as tiny island in the immense sea of Euroland. Switzerland and the EU are not compatible … ”

(Dirk Schümer, Europe in the Crisis – Back to the Nation, in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, June 6, 2011).

It cannot surprise that to party systems and bureaucracies, which have made the state their prey since long (Richard von Weizsäcker), such a sovereignty of the sovereign naturally is a perpetual thorn in the thinking and in such a manner seems to be compatible with for instance the European Convention on Human Rights with proviso clauses only. Although abolished in most cantons for various reasons since about the mid of the 19th century – in recent times especially with regard to the anonymity going with a larger population as for the difficulty to find proper meeting places – the citizen in the Landsgemeinde not just exercises a granted right to vote under the protection of a cabin, but presents himself in the open as part of the state. This to some degree comparable with American primaries with their caucuses and the registration for one or another party stating certain preferences of political or personal kind. That this publicity might indeed also result in group pressure should not be criticized hypocritically by the very same who routinely subjugate their representatives – according to lofty constitution & basic law responsible only to their conscience – to the three-line whip of party and coalition. Just as then the Landsgemeinde also results in an open discourse not or at least considerably less ruled and filtered by party and power interests as the ultimately decisive keystone of democracy.

« The  EU  proves

that  democracy

can  never  succeed

without  a  common  discourse … »

Dirk Schümer

( Europe in the Crisis – Back to the Nation )

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, June 8, 2011

Riefstahl, pupil of Wilhelm Schirmer, travelled repeatedly in the Bavarian, Tyrolese, and Swiss Alps in the 60s and applied himself “with devotion … to the landscape, especially the depiction of the high mountain region” (Boetticher). Present sujet, however, created on his return from his second stay in Rome 1873-75. Afterwards director of the school of arts at Karlsruhe, he settled in Munich 1878 after another journey to Italy, becoming honorary member of the academy there.

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The  wood  engraving  is a technique cultivated especially in the 2nd half of the 19th century which emerged about 1800 and was to be practiced – in contrast to the woodcut as a line engraving cut with the knife alongside of the grain – with the graver diagonally to the grain and with hard cross-cut wood as block to achieve that painterly effect which constitutes the charm of the present sheet, too. And

“ By the various  sources  now  stemming  from  the  place  itself … and variable viewpoints of the beholder … by skillfully chosen details and by person (and other) accessories designed differently a constantly recurring stereotypy is avoided … ”

(Osteneck, [On the Xylographic Depiction in the 19th Century, in Luneburg Contributions to the Research of the Vedute], 1983, pp. 120 ff.).

« Enzensberger’s  central  thesis

aims  at  the  Union’s  precarious  comprehension  of  democracy

which  in  the  ecstasy  of  regulation

develops  ever  more  authoritarian  traits »

Hubert Spiegel

( The Burocracy eats Her Citizens )

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 18, 2011


„ heute kam ich wieder nach Hause und fand die Bilder vor. Sie sind wohlbehalten angekommen und in einem guten Zustand … Vielen Dank für Ihre Mühe “

(Frau E. K., 24. Juni 2002)