the Swan of Avon
April 26, 1564
Immortal in his Actors , too
in the Rôle of his Life
Dance, Nathaniel (London 1735 – Carnborough House/Winchester 1811). (Mr. Garrick in Richard the Third.) In ermine coat along with Order of the Garter and further one as well as spurs after the loss of his horse in the lost Battle of Bosworth (22 August 1485) against the Earl of Richmond, later King Henry VII. The sword in the raised right at the moment of his immortalized words
“ A horse , a horse , my kingdom for a horse ”.
Laterally left Richmond’s cavalcade, driving Richard’s infantry. Set further back manor house. Mezzotint by John Dixon (Dublin about 1740 – London 1811). Inscribed: within the subject below right J. Dixon Fecit, and in the white inscription edge below N.Dance pinxt (far left) / Dance pinxt (5 cm from platemark) / Publishd according to Act of Parliamont (sic!) April 28 1772 by John Boydell Engraver Cheapside London / J Dixon Fecit, additionally see below. 25 × 15¾ in (63.4 × 40 cm).
Smith 15.I (of II, but see below); Nagler III (1836, but ditto 1913 also Thieme-Becker VIII, 340 f.), 258 f. (Dance’s “main work is Richard III as after the lost battle he calls furiously for his horse”) and page 422 on Dixon (“made himself known especially by his engravings in mezzotint manner, in what he proved genius and taste … nothing but appreciable works, among which to be mentioned particularly: … Garrick’s portrait in the character of Richard III … There are impressions before the letter.”) resp.
Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon XXIV (2000), 73: “1771 (Dance’s, subsequent Sir Dance-Holland)
dramatic rendering of David Garrick as Richard III
in Stratford on Avon … yet increasingly he turns from the conversation pieces practiced in Rome to (as here, too) life-size , stately portraits.”
Dixon in turn – AKL XXVIII, 2001, 56 – “renders in his high-grade prints the designs truthfully and sensitively. Frequently he accentuates his mezzotints with other graphical techniques, too, i. a. dry-point.” Befriended with Garrick, he indeed dedicated various works to him, the last still 1779 after the pale Thomas Hudson, but unsurpassably Dance’s pattern
of the wonderful Garrick
in present immortal pose of just that moment
“ as he calls furiously for his horse after the lost battle ”
(Nagler). Yet defying Richard’s dramatic appearance as a “titanic portrait of a villain of surrealistic force” (Erwin Laaths, 1953) Garrick’s position of the mouth rather aims at a quieter My kingdom I would give if only I had a horse now.
And as Richard III & Romeo and Julia are “first masterpieces of the young” Shakespeare (Laaths), so Garrick, finally fulfilling his childhood dream in 1741,
“ instantly brought the house down as Richard III at London
… G. had his features and his organ of speech most admirably under control; the expression of any emotion was at his disposal, so that he was almost equally great in tragedy as in comedy, even though the former was considered his true sphere … 1776 (he) retired to his country house near London, where he died Jan. 20, 1779, bequeathing an estate of c. £ 140,000. His corpse was
entombed in Westminster Abbey
at the base of the memorial to Shakespeare ”
(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VI , 916 f.).
And in addition to this Lichtenberg (1742-1799) on occasion of Hogarth’s picture of Garrick’s Richard at the morning of that day:
“ Garrick has reshaped the English stage, and still now, by the tradition, exercises his efficacy as his method to render Shakespeare’s characters was handed down to the actors from generation to generation … ”
Here then now adequately to all the above the gigantic actor, born in Heresford 1716, at the gauge-bursting peak of the rôle of his life,
communicated in the picture of those who were about him ,
experienced him in the flesh .
So then Dixon’s just technically conditioned – only “50 or 60 … clean prints” the velvety mezzotint grants, so 1675 the expert von Sandrart –
rare main sheet
in marvelous early impression of shining chiaroscuro
before the title
and in such a manner generally corresponding with copy Ee,3.124 of the British Museum qualified as first state down to signatures & Boydell address scratched in dry-point, see above. Nevertheless a still earlier state may have remained unknown to/unnoticed by Smith (1883) & British Museum. For with present copy the Dance inscription placed far left is followed again by a cut pale Dance pinxt, supposedly without preceding N, the distance of which to the platemark being 5 cm. By this, however, approximately corresponding to the Dixon inscription ending on the right 7 cm from the platemark. – The actual sequence of states supposedly as follows:
- J. Dixon Fecit within the subject lower right, to which on the left a N Dance Pinxt might correspond with, see III, otherwise before the letter (Nagler), as for instance also the Dixon sheets Smith 13 & 14 (Before [any] inscription). – Here not provable.
- Dixon/Dance within the subject as I, in addition Dance pinxt / J Dixon Fecit in the white lower margin, set off from the platemark as above. – Here not provable.
- J. Dixon Fecit within the subject lower right, to which on the left a but hardly legible N Dance Pinxt seems to have corresponded with. In addition in the white lower margin N.Dance pinxt (far left) / Dance pinxt (5 cm from platemark) / Publishd according to Act of Parliamont (sic!) April 28 1772 by John Boydell Engraver Cheapside London / J Dixon Fecit. – Present copy , the lower edge still untreated.
- as III, but without the second, earlier Dance pinxt in the lower margin from III. – Copy Ee,3.124 of the British Museum as Smith 15.I.
- J. Dixon Fecit within the subject lower right & in the white lower margin: Dance pinxit / J Dixon Fecit, both each per platemark, and 2 lines centered: Mr. GARRICK in RICHARD the THIRD. / Publishd April 28th 1772 by John Boydell Engraver Cheapside London. – Copy Ee,3.123 of the British Museum as Smith 15.II.
Two-line typographic watermark along with oval secondary mark. – Margins 2-2.5 cm wide laterally and 0.7-1 cm above & below, as for the old mezzotints worth emphasizing, all the more with such a downright
imperial format .
Particularly the latter then also marginalizing the but insignificant agemarks. Expressly mentioned yet a blotchiness of 2⅜ × ¾-1⅛ in (6 × 2-3 cm) in the storm clouds at the edge top left. – Shortly ,
the horse call of world literature —
here as the visualized trouvaille assoluta !
Offer no. 15,859 / price on application
the rare mezzotint’s rare sheets — niemeyer’s has them
“A Horse , a Horse …
The final chord
of this – once more ! –
so incomparably beautiful Ridinger suite ,
grasped by the overwhelmed Brockes as follows ,
to which Thienemann shouts a triumphant
“ Does not the ground shake and shiver? What a trampling one hears here? what a snorting fills the air! a wild yet fine animal gallops along in full run … As this animal a masterpiece by the creative nature , so is the figure created here by few lines ,
also the master’s masterpiece .
Let this picture be the last one ,
I cannot follow you any further Ridinger ,
or else paint alone .”
“ My Kingdom for a Horse ”
Johann Elias Ridinger
The Wild Horse is left in the Wild up to the 3rd and 4th Year, then trained for use; mostly foals only one, now and then 2. Foals; they serve for use 15. to 20. Years. Etching and engraving. (1736.) Inscribed: 40. / Cum Priv. Sac. Cæs. Majest. / I. El. Ridinger inven. pinx. sculps. et exc. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above in German, French, Latin, & below. 13¾ × 16⅞ in (34.9 × 42.8 cm).
Thienemann + Schwarz 235. – Sheet 40 of the STUDY OF THE WILD ANIMALS with the caption of the Hamburg pope of poets, jurist & senator, yet foremost friend of Ridinger’s, Barthold Heinrich Brockes (1680-1747), in German. – With WANGEN watermark as so characteristic for contemp. impressions. – Margins on three sides 3.7-4.2, above 2.7 cm wide. – Professionally done tear in the wide white lower margin.
Of shining-marvelous quality & therefore rarity .
Offer no. 16,130 / EUR 1230. / export price EUR 1169. (c. US$ 1430.) + shipping
Garrick is the Greatest
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Fac Simile of the Proportions of Garrick and Quin. The two, both twice, outlined at the stadia rod, of which each of the outer double is marked with “a very short proportion” (Quin) and “a very tall proportion” resp. Within the autograph letter of Oct. 21, 1746. Engraved facsimile by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: From the Original in the Collection of J. P. Kemble Esqr. / T. Cook sc. / Published by Longmann, Hurst (quite pale), Rees, & Orme, Novr. 1st. 1808., title as before. 9⅞ × 13¾ in (25 × 35 cm).
“ To G H (?) to be left at the Post office at Norwich / HO (?), Siegel / Sr / If the exact Figure of Mr Quin, were to be reduced to the size of the print of Mr Garrick it would seem to be the shortest man of the two, because Mr Garrick is of a taller proportion. / examples … / Let these figures be doubled down so as to be seen but one at once, than let it be ask’d which represents the tallest man. Yours W H. ”
And left above the address :
“ The Picture from whom the Print in question was taken, was Painted from Mr Garrick big as the life, & was sold for two hundred pounds on account of its Likeness which was the reason it was call’d
Mr Garrick in the Character of Richard the 3d
– & not any body else ”
The latter paragraph referring to Hogarth’s mentioned painting of c. 1745, now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Hogarth Catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1971/72, 123 with ills.; “Portraiture and the theatre as a basis for history painting on the grand scale”). After this then the mentioned engraving, worked by Hogarth together with C. Grignon in July 1746 (Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, 73 with ills.).
On Hogarth’s pride in the good payment for the painting expressed in the letter the Tate Catalogue says :
“ The price of £ 200 paid by Mr Duncombe, who commissioned the picture, remained a matter of pride to the painter. ”
Very rare. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). – Three vertical folds within the engraving, additionally right of the white platemark repeatedly sligthly pleated. If framed only limitedly perceptible. – The white upper margin faintly brown striped and not absolutely fresh.
Offer no. 14,094 / EUR 230. (c. US$ 281.) + shipping
“ Possibly the Most Original Actor
of the Eighteenth Century ”
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Mr Garrick in the Character of Richard the Third. Here “The tent scene, Act V, Scene 3, which was especially praised” – the king raising terrified from his dream in the tent. To the left his own camp and that of Richmond’s “so that a battle is inescapable”. Steel engraving. About 1840. Inscribed: Garrick in der Rolle Richard des Dritten. / Shakespear (sic!) Act 5, Scene 7 (sic!, recte 3), otherwise as above. 5⅝ × 6⅝ in (14.3 × 16.9 cm).
In the same direction as Hogarth’s painting of c. 1745 (H. Cat. Tate Gallery 1971/72, 123 with ills.). – Below trimmed within the last line of text.
“ This picture was caused by the first appearance of the British Roscius in the rôle of Richard IIIrd at the theatre of Goodman’sfield (Lincoln’s Inn Fields) in the year 1741 by which that famous actor forced his way in a way that from the first moment on he found the most complete acknowledgement by the nation … Garrick has reshaped the English stage, and still exercises his efficacy through the tradition as his method to impersonate Shakespeare’s characters was handed down to actors from generation to generation … The whole body (here), from top to toe, is frantically moved by the terror of the other world … ”
(Lichtenberg). And Schiller in The Ghost-Seer from 1787 :
“ What! … his convulsive fits; his swoon; the deplorable situation … were all these nothing more than the mimickry of an actor? I allow that a skilful performer may carry imitation to a very high pitch, but he certainly has no power over the organs of life. ” “ As for that, my friend, I have seen Richard the Third by Garrick — ”
And “The design follows Le Brun’s ‘Tent of Darius’“, so Lawrence Gowing in the catalogue of the Tate Gallery. Also drawing the attention to the fact that the proceeds of 200 £ received for the painting “paid by Mr Duncombe, who commissioned the picture, remained a matter of pride to the painter”. Support for this not least that charming letter of the master of Oct. 21, 1746, on the “Proportions of Garrick and Quin” in which he explains this nice sum with the words
“ … sold … on account of its Likeness which was the reason it was call’d Mr Garrick … & not any body else ”.
David Garrick’s (Heresford 1716 – near London 1779) beginning dates from just that year, first in Ipswich, then already see above. 1746 he went on to Covent Garden, 1747 he bought the Drury Lane together with Lacy where he endeavoured “to revive especially the taste for Shakespeare’s works” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed.). 1776 he withdrew. He was buried in Westminster Abbey at the foot of Shakespeare’s memorial. He himself wrote 27 comedies (see on this “The Farmer’s Return”). And – as the reverence of one great artists to the other – even Hogarth’s epitaph:
“ Farewell, great Painter of Mankind! / Who reach’d the noblest point of Art, / Whose pictured Morals charm the Mind, / And through the Eye correct the Heart.
“ If genius fire thee, Reader, stay; / If Nature touch thee, drop a tear; / If neither move thee, turn away, / For Hogarth’s honour’d dust lies here. ”
Offer no. 7,816 / EUR 50. (c. US$ 61.) + shipping
Romeo and Julia. Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer as the nurse of Julia in Shakespeare’s tragedy at the Berlin Royal Dramatic Theater. Glazed colored lithograph printed with tone plate after a photograph by R. Marowsky for Louis Veit, Berlin. (1859/60.) 9 × 5⅞ in (23 × 14.8 cm). – Sheet 28 of the Lipperheide set Ucd 19 on light cardboard.
Offer no. 6,500 / EUR 50. (c. US$ 61.) + shipping
“ Evidently suggested
by Colley Cibber’s production of Henry VIII
at Drury Lane on 26 October 1727.”
1612/13 William’s Latest 2013
The Famous History of the Life of King HENRY the Eight
So for the First Time in the 1623 First Folio
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). King Henry the Eigth & Anna Bullen (Anne Boleyn). Henry confesses the lady-in-waiting of his (1st) wife, Catherine of Aragon, this set back on the throne, his feelings. To the right the almighty cardinal + archbishop Thomas Wolsey. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Design’d by Wm. Hogarth. / Engrav’d by T. Cook. / London Published by G & J Robinson Paternoster Row October 1 1801., title as above. 18⅞ × 14⅞ in (48 × 37.9 cm).
See Hogarth’s own engraving from c. 1728/29 in the first state (with caption) in the Hogarth catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1971/72, 21 with ills.
The work owes its creation to Cibber’s 1727 Shakespeare performance in the Drury Lane
“ although the print does not show any scene in the play ”
(Cat. Tate Gallery). Thieme-Becker’s assumption the engraving represents the lost painting of a third is considered as dated as quite contrarily that painting is regarded as a copy of the engraving known to Hogarth. It hang in Vauxhall Gardens till into those 40s and was regarded, what Horace Walpole denied, as a representation of the Prince of Wales with Harriet Vane. A satire on their marriage in 1763 had recourse to Hogarth’s composition.
Marvelous impression of rich contrast
of the also optically effective large sheet. Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). And as the only one of the later Hogarth editions he maintained his original format. – Two weak brown stripes in the wide white upper margin. The feeble foxing on the back not getting through to the picture. Only the outer edges of two, limitedly three, sides slightly browned. Pinhead-thin spot invisible within the upper wall ornaments.
Offer no. 7,586 / EUR 271. / export price EUR 257. (c. US$ 314.) + shipping
– – – The same in Cook’s smaller repetition engraved together with his son. Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook & Son sc. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, May 1st. 1806., title as above. 7⅜ × 6 in (18.7 × 15.3 cm). – Reverse to Cook’s large first version which corresponds with Hogarth’s engraving. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark. This weakly brownspotted on three sides.
Offer no. 8,918 / EUR 95. (c. US$ 116.) + shipping
– – – The same in Hogarth’s own engraving in an impression on strong paper from the plate retouched by the royal engraver James Heath (1757 London 1834) about 1822, here “Republished March 18th. 1828, by R. & E. Williamson, Engravers, & Printers, 14. Moore Place, New Bethlem, Lambeth, London”. Inscribed: King Henry the Eigth, & Anna Bullen. / Design’d & Engrav’d by Wm. Hogarth. / London, Printed for Robert Wilkinson, Cornhil, Carington Bowles in St. Pauls Church Yard & R. Sayer, in Fleet Street., otherwise as above. 19⅛ × 15⅛ in (48.5 x× 38.5 cm). – Nagler 58. – “Even these impressions have become relatively rare today though”, Art Gallery Esslingen 1970; and Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., VIII (1888), 625: “A fine edition”, esteemed also already by contemporary collectors of the rank of for instance an A. T. Stewart (Catalog of the Stewart Collection, New York 1887, 1221, “fine plates”).
Offer no. 7,860 / EUR 215. (c. US$ 263.) + shipping
“ — now will canker Sorrow eat my bud ,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek . ”
Life and Death of King John , Lady Constance’s Lament
Act 3, Scene IV
Landseer, Thomas (1795 London 1880). The Death-Watch. Mourning at the side of the dead companion. Both in the shape of monkeys. Etching. (1827/28.) Inscribed: TL, otherwise as below. 8 × 6½ in (20.2 × 16.4 cm).
Rümann, Das Illustrierte Buch des 19. Jhdts., Leipsic 1930, pp. 99 ff.; Nagler 1; Thieme-Becker XXII, 305. – On especially wide-margined strong paper. – Particularly upper and right lateral margin quite feebly foxed in the outside parts.
Fine impression on large paper from the famous set of the “Monkeyana” , one of the but few early and thus typical works by Landseer :
“ That Thomas Landseer may be judged only by these illustrations a little book with woodcuts proves which show next to nothing of his intellect ” .
Worked since 1827 the 25 etchings incl. title were published in numbers and with classical captions at Moon, Boys & Graves in London till 1828 (The English Catalogue of Books: January to December) in three editions: standard edition in quarto, edition on larger paper in large quarto, edition with proofs in large quarto, too. Besides copies on mounted China. – Otherwise qualified by Rümann i. a.:
“ Much more important was Edwin’s brother Thomas Landseer …
… in the 20s he distinguished himself by a series of 25 plates that were published 1828 under the title of ‘Monkeyana’ (ills. 57).
Technically his etchings are masterly ,
no less admirable the intellectual grasp of the subject. With much humor and sharp observation he transfers the plain life of his time to the monkey’s life. His sarcasm is biting, almost vicious. ”
In regard of the latter judgement Landseer’s contemporary Nagler, Monogramists V, 686, might be more to the point:
“ … the habits , costumes , and follies of his time
(Landseer has) caricatured delectably ”.
And Stechow sovereignly sums up : “ Monkeys always fascinated artists ” (Pieter Bruegel, Cologne 1977, page 76).
“ The monkey as the animal most similar to man plays an important rôle in art history since antiquity.
As figura diaboli ,
as symbol of sin and the fall of man ,
as fool , as figure of vanity
he appears in most varied context … (A)lso the usual religious reference in the interpretation of the monkey as man mixed up in his passion for profane things … ”
(Hella Robels, Frans Snyders, Munich 1989, page 43).
Later Thomas Landseer devoted himself largely to the reproduction of the animal depictions by his brother Sir Edwin.
Offer no. 10,824 / EUR 199. (c. US$ 243.) + shipping
“ speak no more ,
I’ll not be made a soft & dull eyd fool
To shake the head, relent, & sigh, & yield. ”
Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene III (Shylock)
– – School Life. The teacher with the quill behind his ear and – worse – the rod in his right hand, pressing hard a little rascal. Both as monkeys dressed like humans. Etching as before. – On especially wide-margined strong paper. – In the white margin really weak foxing.
Offer no. 12,174 / EUR 343. / export price EUR 326. (c. US$ 399.) + shipping
“ But man , proud man , dressed in a little brief
Authority plays such fantastic tricks. & &. ”
Measure for Measure, Act 2, Scene II (Isabella)
– – The Power of the Uniform. Dressed up with the signs of police powers – coat with broad collar + oversized hat – brandishing the rod and roaring he takes action against the three little beggars on the steps at the church. Two of them already taking to their heels while the third tries to rescue the coin lying besides his cap. With the exception of the latter all as humanly dressed monkeys. Etching as before. – On specially wide-margined strong paper. – In the white margin really weak foxing.
Offer no. 14,376 / EUR 197. (c. US$ 241.) + shipping
“ Hence , horrible shadow !
Unreal Mockery hence! ”
Macbeth, Act 3, Scene IV (Macbeth)
– – The Impotence of the Uniform. Paralyzed with fear the general gives ground to an enemy disguised as ghost while another takes his pistol and loads him over his shoulder. In the middle distance further battle. All as humanly – or ghostly for that matter – dressed monkeys. Etching as before, but as
fine proof on large paper .
Upper and lateral margins in the outer parts slightly foxed.
Offer no. 14,380 / EUR 222. (c. US$ 272.) + shipping
“ Fools ne’er had less grace in a year.
For wise men are grown foppish.
And know not how their wits to wear.
Their manners are so Apeish. ”
King Lear, Act 1, Scene IV (Fool)
– – Foppish Fools. The little ragged beggar with the cap in his hand looking up in horror to the “great” dolled up with monocle, chain of orders, neckerchief, bows, and silk hat. Both as humanly dressed monkeys. Etching as before, thus also as proof on large paper , but additionally
monogrammed with pencil “T L” by own hand .
The outermost parts of upper, right, and lower margin somewhat foxed.
Offer no. 14,375 / EUR 297. / export price EUR 282. (c. US$ 345.) + shipping
niemeyer’s — where the unusual is at home
“ Stumbled upon your excellent website while researching Ludwig Beckmann, and must say that I was most impressed. In any case, since you are the closest I know to an authority on antique German books and prints I am wondering if you could help me pinpoint the origin of a piece I have in my dachshund collection … ”
(Mr. & Mrs. J. L., August 14, 2008)