September 11 , 1697
“ The miraculous victory which the prince (Eugene) …
utilizing with swift boldness
the Ottomans’ crossing of the Theiss ,
gained on them at Zenta
put an end to the war against the Porte
and brought the House Austria by the peace of Karlowitz
into the repossession of almost all Hungarian territory ,
which in the course of the centuries
had been lost to the Turks . ”
Alfred Ritter von Arneth, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie VI , p. 407
September 11 , 1709
“ (Prince) E(ugene) and Marlborough …
defeated … the French … at Malplaquet … ”
Alfred Ritter von Arneth, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie VI , p. 412
September 11 , 2001
“ Attack on America ”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 12, 2001
Vernal frenzy under European cerebellar cortices, but he who laughs too soon will have to pay yet already Lenin, for instance, once smirked when being courted in the sealed Pullman car to the revolutionary front, and was heard consequently:
“ The Capitalists will sell us the rope
with which we will hang them ”
« By the final pushing back of the Turks
and the victories over France
he has exerted a decisive influence
on the course of world history »
4th ed., V , page 901 f.
Saviour of the West
Victor of Zenta , Blenheim , Malplaquet ,
Peterwardein , Temesvar and finally Belgrade
“ A Character … who deserves the Greatest Admiration ”
Georg Philipp Rugendas I (1666 Augsburg 1742). Serenissimus Princeps Eugenius Franciscus, Dux Sabaudiæ et Pedemontÿ, Marchio de Saluzzo, Sac. Cæs. Maj. Consiliar. Int. Concilÿ Aulico-Bellici Præses, Copiarum Cæsarear. Dux Supremus et Locumtenens Generalis: S. R. I. Campi Mareschall. aurei Velleris Eques.
Franz Eugene Prince of Savoy
( 1663-1736 )
With marshal’s baton in the outstretched right mounted on a white horse galloping to the right in a just allusively outlined landscape. On the right laterally in the middle distance partly schematic battle scenery. Mezzotint. (1713/14.) Inscribed: Georg Philipp Rugendas inv. et fecit Aug. Vind. otherwise as above. 18½ × 14¼ in (46.9 × 36.2 cm).
Teuscher 55. – Not in Stillfried & Nagler, who both only know version T. 59 not belonging to, see below.
« I am very well satisfied with you , »
said the emperor ,
« excepting on one point only ,
which is ,
that you expose yourself too much . »
Encyclopedia Britannica , 1911
The Immortally Great Prince Eugene ,
the “noble knight” of the song, equally grand as general, statesman, and actively collecting man of the fine arts and sciences. At the start of this life was the provision to the clergy by Louis XIV at whose court the mother, Olympia Mancini, played her role. Because “too short and weak of figure, with unpleasant features”. Then the Turkish threat of the emperor became his fate :
“ (Eugene) turned to Austria, which was just then threatened to the utmost by the Turks … Instantly he joined the only too weak army which advanced towards the immense troops of the Ottomans pressing forward through Hungary upon Vienna … He fought in the battle by which on September 12, 1683 the hard pressed Vienna was freed of the Turks …
“ The miraculous victory which the prince, utilizing with swift boldness the Ottomans’ crossing of the Theiss, gained on them at Zenta September 11, 1697 put an end to the war against the Porte and brought the House of Austria by the peace of Karlowitz into the repossession of almost all Hungarian land, which in the course of the centuries had been lost to the Turks …
“ E(ugene) and Marlborough conquered Tournai, and on September 11, 1709 they defeated the French under Villars in the exceedingly bloody battle at Malplaquet …
« 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
“ It is strange that he, whom one always considered the fiercest enemy of France, stated already forty years before Kaunitz it would to be wished sincerely that the House of Bourbon were of a kind to provide the court at Vienna with a chance to make true, honest, and lasting friendship with it. For both dynasties actually had one and the same interest in keeping peace in Europe and the protection and the furtherance of the Catholic creed. Yet indeed E. directly added that with France’s indefatigable ambition, with her never satisfied mania for extension of her territory, and for expansion of her power there would be never hoped for an alliance with her …
“ In few hours he defeated the Grand vizier utterly … and following the gained victory before long Belgrade surrendered to the prince. Immense was the joy the fall of this strongest bastion of Islam aroused …
“ Also Eugene’s activity as governor-general of the Netherlands cannot be lost sight of … Unrelentingly E. urged … to bestow the public offices on the most worthy only.
Integrity , competence , and assiduity
were the qualities which in this had to be most of weight …
“ (A)s much as on every occasion the prince emphasized the necessity to further and develop credit, so
“ A most remarkable place in the prince’s life and activity his eminent interest in everything related to the sciences and the arts held … And the splendid buildings which Vienna owes to him, his palace in the inner city, and even more the Belvedere are still today monuments of the chastened artistic mind of the prince … no one (later in Austria) equaled the prince E. Yet as statesman he held a position as hardly anyone else, even Kaunitz not excluded, held before and after him … yet there was no one who had six that wonderful victories, as the days of Zenta and Blenheim, of Turin and Malplaquet, of Peterwardein and Belgrade … to show for himself.
Yet the real scale for the assessment of Eugene’s greatness
is based on the fact
that in each of these three directions he was equally unsurpassed …
and that they were borne by a character …
(who) deserves the greatest admiration ”
(Alfred Ritter von Arneth in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, VI , pp. 409 & 411).
« … a great bibliophile ,
collected since 1712 … a rich library
of éditions de luxe and splendid volumes of the 17th century
and fine French works from the early 18th century
which he had bound in rich , armorial leather volumes
(15000 books & 237 manuscripts ,
today in the Austrian National Library) »
Löffler-Kirchner, Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens, I , p. 507
Qualified by provenance of the portrait collection of von Roemer father & son 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 142). 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).
Trimmed close to the platemark, in places on this itself and on the right on 3.5 cm on the edge of the subject. – Mounted by old on laid paper whose margins have been laminated on the front frame-like with grey-bluish paper. The image itself braid with black surrounding line.
Very fine, highly nuanced impression of rich chiaroscuro and adequate preservation (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) to the grand
set of the princes on horseback
on galloping white horses with the marshal’s baton in the right
by the great Rugendas himself. Complete here not provable in literature anymore Andrea 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.
Pictorially the also otherwise independently worked Eugene rides on that from left to right while he deviates first stylistically from the six leaves truly belonging to by being without cap and using the marshal’s baton as pointer. But even more he figures directly in front of a large accessory of his troops filling the whole oblong format while that of T. 53-58 is limited to deeply set back small partial lateral accessory troops. The caption additionally in German and printed from own plate. The size with 33 + 5.1 x 27 cm markedly smaller.
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 positions 14,363 + 14,364 here, T. 55 + 58, belonged. With here
at present no complete copy being known to literature .
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!
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 Catalog (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 by 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.).
Here then with supposedly
the most noble one of Rugendas’ six “ Princes on Horseback ” ,
as an equestrian portrait whose
confirms whereupon the elder Georg Philipp Rugendas 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 1889 in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, XXIX, 600).
Offer no. 14,364 / price on application
“ I would like to thank you most sincerely for your expert analysis of the portfolio and for the considerable amount of time you gave to this effort. I will take your advice and we shall see what happens … Again, my sincere thanks ”
(Mr. P. S., March 22, 2012)