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Repressed  Ridinger —

The  Ridinger  of  the  Mezzotint

Quite eagerly even passionate Ridinger collectors reduce the master to his engraved and etched animal and hunt subjects and depictions of riding schools with their frequently didactic or instructing captions or accompanying texts – and often repress even that part of the pictorially and thematically so

rich  œuvre  of  the  mezzotints

genuinely belonging to these themes.

An aspect already 15 years ago referred to here in the programmatic speech The Minimized Ridinger at the ceremonial act of the University for Technology Dresden to Ridinger’s 300rd birthday on the Grillenburg April 27, 1998.

While from the beginning already in the compositions of the engravings of that reduced “standard canon” both recourses to other artists – for instance Ruisdael or Savery – and the Netherlanders’ manifold iconography in general just as a – frequently in joint works with Barthold Heinrich Brockes, the Hamburg senator, jurist and pope of poets – not even particularly hidden strong socio-political commitment are to be noted, it is only in the

in  their  rich  chiaroscuro

as  painterly  as  delicate  mezzotints

the full range becomes visible. Reaching from salon and genre pieces after i. a. Boucher or Watteau through images of saints as typical commercial art of the 18th century and grandiose crucifixions to Danse Macabre & Vanitas.

Where given designs were by no means just copied, rather were – art historically common practice – quoted, modified, picked out and arranged anew. What quite incidentally qualifies the frequent missing of Ridinger’s “invenit”: no longer to be attributed to a definitive model, the master obviously was likewise afraid to make a claim for original ideas of others. Besides applies – so Gina Thomas in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Feb. 20, 2001 – also for Ridinger:

“ As with the princely dynasties and noble families

entire  genealogical  trees  of  influences
can  be  traced  for  painters. ”

This consolidation of the master and his œuvre, which experienced in that Dresden Address its first large roundup and was followed by further publications, was ultimately summarized by Wolfgang Weitz, presiding judge em., hunt historian & donor, holder of the Distinguished Service Pin in Gold of the Deutsche Jagdschutz-Verband, by letter of August 30, 2006:

“ When I got in touch with Ridinger for the first time about 60 years ago I took him for a portraitist of the hunt. His pictures I have (seen in many places) … especially with and between hunting trophies. This impression has faded away in the meantime. Ridinger has grappled with a wealth of intellectual problems which had nothing to do with the hunt. Evidently he has been a wide-ranging educated man.

(So)  that  today  I  see  Ridinger  more  comprehensively . ”

Chosen as example of the comprehensive Ridinger here & now for the Ridinger of the mezzotint as superb rarity from the final set of the Five Senses furnished moreover with his “invent”

The  Scent  of  the  Rose

Johann Elias Ridinger, The Smell

Johann  Elias  Ridinger
Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767

The  Smell. — Odoratus.

“ Yet the Rose keeps in Dispute always the Special Price ”

Young lady standing on a terrace in a park scenting a rose held with the left of a rose-tree in heavy flower pot on the right side, while the right holds a multi-flowered bell-flower décolleté. Responding to the rose-tree besides a rose of her bonnet. On the left from the park, however, one of the master’s columns of water hails. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. Elias Ridinger invent. et excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German-Latin as above and below. 18⅜ × 13¾ in (46.7 × 34.8 cm).

Schwarz (1910) II, 1468 & plate XXVII; Counts Faber-Castell 161 ( “Exceedingly rare set”, 1958); publications of the ridinger gallery niemeyer 12 (1993), each as sheet 3 of the final set of the Five Senses completely illustrated with Schwarz & Niemeyer. As recognized by Stillfried 1876 per 3rd supplement to Thienemann and numbered 1391-1395, yet verifiable for him by the sheet of the gouty man as The Feeling only. – Wend, (Additions to the Catalogs Raisonné of Prints), I/1 (1975), 267, based on Schwarz.

Neither  as  a  whole  nor  in  single  sheets

not in Thienemann (1856) and therefore also not in Dresden

( “ The  mezzotints  are  almost  unobtainable  in  the  trade …
anymore … and  [their]  by  far  largest  part …
[I  have]  found  [in  the  printroom  Dresden]  only. ” ) ,

Weigel Art Stock Catalog, div. I-XXVIII (1838/57; more than 1000 sheet of Ridinger’s etched/engraved œuvre) , Silesian. R. collection at Boerner XXXIX (1883) , Coll. Coppenrath (1889/90) , R. collection at Wawra (1890; beside 234 drawings 600 prints) , Coll. Reich auf Biehla (1894; “Of all [R. collections traded] since long none can compete in regard of completeness and quality just even approximately with the present one … especially the rarities and undescribed sheets, which are represented in rich number”; 1266 sheet plus 470 duplicates & 20 drawings) , Coll. Georg Hamminger (1895) , R. catalog Helbing (1900; 1554 nos.) , R. listing Rosenthal (1940; 444 nos.) , Count Castell-Rüdenhausen (2005) .

With  German-Latin  quatrain

Mille quidem variis opibus nos Flora beare,
Tempus ut est an(n)i, ac Munera ferre solet;
Nares reficiunt dotes Telluris odore,
Sed manet in pugna gloria prima Rosis.

Ascertained  completely  for  the  first  time  in  the  20th  century  – and  then  even  only  in  the  interval  of  decades , see  above – the  Perfume  of  Roses  from  the  third  and  final  set  of  the  Five  Senses  representing  the  smell  pure  and  simple

in  quite  evenly  excellent  black  impression  of  vivid  chiaroscuro

with  margins  of  5-7.5 cm  ( sic ! )  and  watermark  WANGEN

as  for  contemporary  prints  so  exemplary

as all so additionally scarce with the delicate mezzotints, for already 1675 the expert von Sandrart numbered “clean prints” of the velvety mezzotint at just about “50 or 60” (!). “(A)fterwards (the image) grinds off soon since it does not go deep into the copper”. Correspondingly then 1856 Thienemann as already above including even the Dresden printroom where

also  not  even  there  then  neither  the  present  one

nor any of the other four sheets of the set were present.

Smoothed center fold. – Beside the four pinhead-small original pricks in the upper margin one further one there. – The wide white margin inclusive of some acid-freely backed tiniest tears and on the back slightly agespotted,  otherwise  very , very  fine . And , indeed ,

a  cimely  extraordinaire ,

a  fragrant  example

for  the  often  repressed

Ridinger  of  the  mezzotint .

Offer no. 15,830 / price on application


„ ich danke für die unbeschreiblich gut verpackte Sendung, die mich heute wohlbehalten erreichte, Sollten Sie mal wieder etwas von … haben, wäre ich für eine Benachrichtigung dankbar. Ebenso interessieren mich die Maler … Herzliche Grüße aus Hamburg “

(Herr A. W., 24. Oktober 2007)