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“ In  Animal  Painting  also  distinguished  themselves …”

Thoman(n) von Hagelstein, Tobias Heinrich (1700 Augsburg 1764). Assault by a Lion on a Fallow-deer pursued by a Bear. Sliding down a rock the lion has grasped the deer while the bear appears above behind a fallen tree. Lower right a fox before a hole as surprised as not unwilling to take his part of the prey of the great game. Especially in view of the anticipated quarrel between them. Mezzotint in brown. Inscribed in the plate: T. Heinr. Thoman del. fec. et excud. A. V. 19 × 14½ in (48.2 × 36.7 cm).

Schwerdt III, 172 ( “interesting” ). – Compare with ADB XXXVIII, 65 f. – Plate 1 of a four-plate suite of unnumbered fights of beasts, possibly before the Hertel address as with Schwerdt, too, after Thieme-Becker mention “some sets of Animal Fights and Huntings published by J. Gg. Hertel (4 sheet …)”. – Watermark (figurative/typographic?). – Latin-German two-liner:

Tobias Heinrich Thoman von Hagelstein, Fallow-deer pursued by lion + bear

Here  lies  the  fallow-deer  the  bear  just  got
the  lion  deprives  him  the  prey  and  lets  the  bear  growl .

With surrounding paper margins 2-2.5 cm wide. – Smoothed centerfold. – Two small shaves retouched. – Backside evenly slightly browned, namely the white margins quite slightly foxing. Otherwise

splendid  warm-toned  impression

as reserved to only the best among the about 50-60 possible from the delicate mezzotint plate.

On the artist dynasty of the Thomans originating from Lindau and flourishing more than 200 years see Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie XXXVIII, 65 f. Present Tobias Heinrich, youngest son of Ernst Philipp, represented here likewise by precious mezzotints, applied himself – “supposedly under the influence of the Ridingers” (Th.-B.) – especially to the animal subject, but hardly in oil as Welisch’s “In animal painting still excelled …” suggests. Nonetheless, so the latter continuing in Contributions to the History of the Augsburg Painters in the 18th Century, 1901, page 93, he was

“ highly  rated  by  Ridinger , too ”.

Like his father’s mezzotints his are that scarce that even to Nagler (Künstler-Lexicon XVIII, 1848, 360) they were known from hearsay only:

“ P. v. Stetten says … that in later time Thomann has executed several sheet in mezzotint manner which present animals, and the same he says of E. Ph. Thomann von Hagelstein. ”

Yet in such a way they are trouvailles still surpassing the technically conditioned preciousness of the velvety mezzotint manner. For already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart figured only about “50-60 (!) clean copies … soon after, however, (the picture) grinds off for it not goes deeply into the copper”.

Offer no. 28,139 / EUR  885. / export price EUR  841. (c. US$ 1021.) + shipping


„ Lieber Herr Niemeyer, Ich freue mich über Ihr selten gewordenes Qualitätsempfinden! Ein einwandfreies Exemplar des Goltzius wäre mir schon auch lieber! MfG “

(Herr M. N., 21. April 2015)

 

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