the Mister Ridinger
“ who indeed was quite a different man …
in Augsburg no one but Mr. Ridinger
had seen my album otherwise ”
3rd & 6th July 1766
With Letter of Introduction from Paris
This Time Adrian Zingg
St. Gall 1734 – Leipsic 1816
who, after a seven-years stay in the study of the German art hub in Paris and friend, Johann Georg Wille, finally follows heavy-heartedly Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn’s call as teacher for the art of engraving at the newly founded art academy in Dresden. And departs thither “24 April 1766 the earliest”, lamented by all, yet accompanied by twenty signs of friendship in the album.
The most personal contribution:
Choffard’s (“an eternally newly bubbling source of witty invention”, Th.-B.) “programatic still life as praise of the artistic work” (K.-H.) with drawing and engraving utensils along with copper plate for Zingg’s famous 2-years work Les Bergeres after Dietricy
And although by no means on the straight direct route, yet still arriving at Florence on the Elbe about mid-July. For first he went to Bern, then via Zurich to the native St. Gall, and then, from there indeed, as he will report to Paris in August,
“ I departed (the first of the preceding month) early in the morning … on horseback, and it rained most heavily, the 3rd at noon I was in Augsburg , and my first visit was to M(r. Georg Christoph). Kilian (pupil/friend/biographer of Ridinger’s) … I said that after noon I
intended to visit the Mr. Ridinger ,
who then indeed was quite a different man …
had drawn something into my album
it pleases me particularly ,
otherwise in Augsburg no one but Mr. Ridinger had seen my album ,
(Johann Jacob) Haid (pupil/journeyman/friend of Ridinger’s) and (Johannes Esaias) Nilson I had visited, too … the 7th I had departed from Augsburg, and arrived the 9th in Nuremberg … ”
(after Décultot, Espagne and Werner [ed.], Joh. Gg. Wille / Correspondence, 1999, p. 376).
Original size of the entry 3 x 6.5 cm
Zingg’s emphasis of having considered no one else in Augsburg but Ridinger for an album entry all the more remarkable as the latter being a representative of the frequently attacked fathers’ generation. And, even more so, that with his respect for the œuvre of the doyen the 32-years-old Zingg, moreover already travelling towards the position of his life, was not alone among his contemporaries. So with regard to the then rather only technical-artistic Augsburg the 31-years-old Ferdinand von Kobell laments likewise towards Wille (July 10, 1771; Décultot page 486) downright drastically the “insects of the copper engraving (in the) miserable Augsburg” and “that in such a place a Ridinger – and Rugendas (had) to live”.
And therewith both illustrating contemporarily nothing but what 200 years later an art-historically so grave voice as Wolf Stubbe’s sums up, coming to the point in respect of Augsburg as regards Ridinger. That his “artistic general appearance actually has nothing of an ‘Augsburg’ artist”. And that “his graphic works have hardly anything in common with the decorative-ornamental engravings from the workshops in his neighborhood”. Nonetheless, “and yet one perceives ‘Augsburg’ as a necessary requirement for their development” (Stubbe, Joh. Elias Ridinger, 1966, pages 10 f.).
And thus for Zingg his request to Ridinger was no question at all. And to see it granted pleased him particularly.
niemeyer’s — for the plenitude of ridingeriana
Adrian Zingg’s Album
1757 – 1790
Entries by more than 60 guildsmen in, here and there also several, altogether 69 drawings, watercolors and gouaches along with dedication on partially additional sheet, one of which on one and a half pages. 4¾ × 7¼ × ⅞ in (122 × 185 × 22 mm). Facsimile edition in the original size and the original colors. (With epilog by Erwin Hensler.) Leipsic, Insel, (1923). 85 unnumbered ll., 31 pp., imprint. Green orig. hand-bound morocco richly gilt on all sides with color-spotted endpapers & A.Z. monogram on the front cover and brown dust jacket in brown orig. slipcase. Gilt edges.
Andreas Diesend, Stammbuch des Adrian Zingg 1757-1790, in Kuhlmann-Hodick et al. (ed.), Adrian Zingg. Wegbereiter der Romantik/Exhibition Catalog Dresden/Zurich, 2012, pp. 98 f. with 2 ills. – One of the 300 copies hand-numbered in Arabic of the total edition of 320, the 20 Roman numbered of which in saffian not meant for the trade. – Faithful execution “in multicolored phototype under the direction of Fritz Goetz”. – Edges of jacket & slipcase slightly to a little more bumped/rubbed, hardly worth mentioning the loosened binding as frequent with oblong formats.
“ By mid of July 1766 Zingg appears to have arrived in Dresden. The contributions of Handmann in Bern, Geßner and Füßli in Zurich, as well as Ridinger in Augsburg and Dietzsch in Nuremberg allow to follow his journey through these towns from May 11 until July 12 ” (Hensler, here page 13).
Ridinger’s obvious contribution of a royal stag half risen on a fine clearing in washed bister bears the caption
“My most worthy friend Mister Zingg
by J. E; Ridinger 1766. The 6 July in Augsburg”.
Zingg therefore has visited Ridinger twice. First just on the day of arrival, then the day before his departure, when the master returned his album with the drawing done on purpose. In various other cases such are mounted, thus recourse was made to already available ones.
Johann Georg Wille (Biebertal/Gießen 1715 – Paris 1808), March 26, 1766
“ The tradition to keep an album … goes back to the 16th century. In the 18th century in the course of a heyday of the cult of friendship this custom held a particular consequence …
With its entries and pictorial dedications by sixty international artists Adrian Zingg’s album is one of the most important ones of his time . Especially the diversity and the high quality of drawings, the almost unbroken traceability of the stations in his life and the insight into the artist circles in which this artist moved
help this album to its prominent position …
What important rank the album had for its owner becomes evident by the only personal entry: ‘66. drawings as reminiscences and souvenirs by the friends A. Zingg.’ ”
(Andreas Diesend, op. cit.). – Contrary to the facsimile edition “in the original volume (the latter forms the last page), while there C. A. Graff’s (donation) note is on the first. Actually there are not ‘66 drawings …’ but 69 on 83 sheet … by 60 artists and a written dedication … Represented by two contributions each D. Chodowiecki, S. Freudenberger, Chr. G. Geißler, J. C. Hedlinger, J. Chr. Klengel (including from 1779 View on Dresden from Zingg’s former apartment in the academy building), J. W. Meil, Fr. E. Weirotter, by three J. H. Ramberg” (Hensler within the accompanying text here, p. 19).
Weirotter’s album farewell, April 1766: “Willage de la Normandie”
With 20 entries especially well documented those assembled around Wille in Paris “by their throughout
charming representations impressively documenting the artistic creativity
and the variety of styles, genres and themes of Wille’s circle”, not least the excursions the master – so Hensler page 5 – undertakes with them or they on their own to St. Denis, St. Germain, the lower Seine, Picardy & Normandy, the ruins of the abbey of St. Maur etc., all filling the sketchbooks of the coming generation and manifesting in the œuvres.
Normandy set of 10 (of 12) landscape etchings & aquatints (2)
dessiné d’après Nature / et Gravé par F. E. Weirotter / AParis chés Wille Graveur du Roi …
“ The name of Adrian Zingg is hardly known beyond Saxony today even in art circles. Who has heard of (him) … who for full fifty years was the chief adornment of the Dresden Academy beside his countryman Anton Graff … Only in recent years one does more justice to Zingg again ” (Hensler, 1923, page 1).
For, with some reservations also applicable to Ridinger, who increasingly put aside painting and therefore was himself neglected by art history,
“ As long as the panel painting alone
was the standard for art and artist ,
so long also Adrian Zingg was a forgotten one. Since he has created not one single painting, the verdict was already passed on him … (Actually yet he has given)
Saxon Switzerland not only its name ,
he also influenced a whole generation of artists up to Caspar David Friedrich … (and) so became a major precursor of romantic landscape art in Germany, for which Dresden was one of the most important centers ”
(Kuhlmann-Hodick, op. cit., pp. 11 & 7).
Jacob Wilhelm Mechau, Leipsic Oct. 12, 1783
But it wasn’t just this specific alone. The artistic century itself was the disdainful subject as an art historically so refreshingly unorthodox pen as Laurens J. Bol’s put it in a nutshell for the Netherlands:
“ For a long time Dutch historiography had scarcely a good thing to say about the eighteenth century. ‘Period of decline’, ‘age of the periwigs’, ‘epoch of decadence’ – these were the terms usually used to describe this era. The time of expansion and glorious heroic deed was past. The Dutchman, with his newly acquired wealth, was no longer dynamic, but reflective. He longed for a comfortable, unendangered existence in which he could collect and promote art and knowledge …
The production of oil paintings
slackened considerably during the eighteenth century.
The plethora of capable seventeenth-century artists had created a superabundant supply: the Netherlands was flooded with paintings. The rich owned their Great Masters, but the less well-off also had their paintings on the wall, works of the less talented but nevertheless competent Dutch artists. Moreover, the ever-increasing demand for painted wall-hangings meant that
the space available for framed paintings was considerably reduced .
The art of drawing gained a great deal in popularity and recognition in this century, and collectors as well as artists took a greater interest in it … As far as Dordrecht is concerned … I might be so bold as to call it a second Golden Age …
The eighteenth-century craving for learning and knowledge was coupled
with a genuine passion for collecting …
a longed-for distinction … ”
(Laurens J. Bol [longtime director of the Dordrecht museums], Aart Schouman / Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman, 1991, pages 11 & 13).
Carl Friedrich Kregel von Sternbach, Leipsic 1786, after van Goyen
While in the light of her previous Golden seventeenth century the despise of the eighteenth by Dutch art criticism should not be met without understanding after all, so necessarily this is not transferable to Germany. Common, however, to both locations the oil-soaked arrogance towards drawing and print. And the reluctance to take into account a changed want. The flourishing turnover at high prices of contemporary German prints in France documented by Wille confirms, what Bol summarizes for the Netherlands. Represented, picked out, also by the œuvre of the Austrian Weirotter, where even “connoisseurs and friends of his sheets (had) to pay dearly for the prints of individual sheets … As etcher W(eirotter) reckons among the most distinguished artists” (Allgemeine Deutsche Biograpie XLI , 520f.).
And if with Ridinger a working to capacity in drawing and printmaking subsequent to his omnipotence induced that as just 50-years-old he could afford to contemplate accepting a follow-up order for further paintings by czarina Elizaveta Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great, for he, so by letter to Wille of June 29, 1748 “never had thought that I would take up the brush once more”, so Zingg’s intentions and merits originated both in his ability and his also in this respect entrepreneurial assessment to set as printmaker new standards in the coloristic landscape subject, especially due to the early teacher Aberli, represented, too, in the album on two pages from aforesaid ensuing mutual days in Paris.
For nothing else Zingg’s sepia-washed outline etchings were
“ Excellent and the best by this master here ”
but, so Claudia Schnitzer in K.-H., page 37, “a new , particular manner of reproduction prints which
inspired the impression of an original drawing ”
Started 1757, the album grew until 1790, to rest then as completed until June 11, 1815, on which day Zingg gave it to his pupil and godchild Carl Anton Graff (1774 Dresden 1832), second son of his decades-long friend and Dresden colleague Anton Graff, with whose entry “For friendly remembrance received from Professor Zingg” it ends definitively, yet without being exhausted with regard to space.
On Graff’s estate sale in November 1832 it was acquired by then crown prince and later king Frederick Augustus II of Saxony. At the time of its reproduction in facsimile it was in the possession of Prince John George, Duke of Saxony, to anchor ultimately for good in 2003 via Swiss trade in the Art Museum Basle.
Daniel Chodowiecki 1771
K.-H., op. cit., page 98, quantifies its volume with 140 sheet against only 85 of present facsimile edition, which logically omits the empty sheets, nevertheless compensated by the thickness of the paper. The given longitudinal size of 195 mm instead of 185 here probably incorrect. The “70” drawings obviously inclusive of the one and a half page written entry. Present binding in green leather, however, deviating from the red marble calf of the original, as probably was reserved to the 20 preferential copies in saffian.
Its artistic and historico-cultural merit established by universal literature up to the reference of individual sheets, so for instance Thieme-Becker on occasion of two sepia landscapes from 1784 by Jacob Mechau of the Speck von Sternburg collection as ancestors to a “similar watercolor from Oct. 12, 1783 in Adr. Zingg’s album”. And ibid. on Zingg himself “his ‘album’ made known by Hensler with valuable contributions 1757-90 …”. So that Hensler himself justly sums up page 16:
Jacob Philipp (Goethe) Hackert, Paris April 1766
“ What a whirling plenitude of impressions this volume conveys !
“ For reminiscence. from life by J. C. Klengel. 1779. ”
View from Zingg’s former apartment in the Academy building, Dresden
Hardly there will be a pendant to be put on a level with it .”
Offer no. 16,072 / EUR 945. / export price EUR 898. (c. US$ 978.) + shipping
And once more Charm & Friendship
“ Mister Weirotter has made me at the same time a present of own works which I reckon among the best of the kind … This young artist will be a credit to his native country ”
(Winkelmann January 28, 1764 from Rome to Wille after Décultot, op. cit., page 314).
With Weirotter the landscape etching experienced a fine culmination and in 1766 Schmutzer, then director of the Vienna Academy, recommended Maria Theresa the appointment to the academy of the still young artist to take over the landscape subject there. According to Schmutzer’s report for the empress the artist in his mid-thirties made
“ with his etched landscapes
which were bought readily in England , the Netherlands , and Germany
4-5000 ?. annually ”.
The suggestion was accepted immediately by the Privy Council, for Weirotter otherwise “already has a call to Saxony in hands”. But at his much too early death “his complete artistic bequest found no market in Vienna; it left to Paris. Connoisseurs and friends of his sheets
had to pay dearly for impressions of individual sheets …
As etcher W(eirotter) reckons among the most eminent artists … ”
(ADB XLI , 520 f.), having “developed a truly amazing activity on both the fields assigned to him (in Vienna), the landscape drawing and the etching,
and given impetuses influencing still today ”
(Thieme-Becker XXXV , 309, quoting Carl von Lützow).
His whole ability is reflected by the works after own invention. His admiration with the contemporaries follows from letters by and to Wille. And in glance backward at the preceding Paris period of training (1759/63) the latter reports to Hagedorn in Dresden “He has become so ready in drawing that his drawings look far more effortless than his paintings”. And as collector 1764 the Leipsic banker Gottfried Winckler “I have no doubt, that Mr.
Weirotter will deliver to us many beautiful after the Italian journey ”
(after Décultot). “ Weirotter – so Gerson, Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jhdts., 2nd ed., 1983, p. 338 – worked also after P. Molijn, Jan van Goyen, Aert van der Neer — and Dietricy (Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, Weimar 1712 – Dresden 1774).
His own inventions are correspondingly Dutch . ”
Offer no. 14,704 / EUR 430. / export price EUR 409. (c. US$ 446.) + shipping
Called Zingg to Dresden
largely complying to his demands
Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn
Hamburg 1712 – Dresden 1780
and earned himself for still unknown reason
Ridinger’s one and only own Dedication
within his probably most beautiful natural set of the old prints ,
The Deer’s Four Times of Day
published as together
publications by the ridinger gallery niemeyer 31
“ … I continue to enjoy my Keele-Pedretti (Leonardo) volumes … ”
(Mr. M. W., November 20, 2011)