Franz  Marc — inspired  by  Ridinger

as  in  this  plurality  has  been  missed  till  now

Hitherto known after the latter only the woodcut “Riding School after Ridinger” of 1913 (Lankheit 839) as detail interpretation of the background figure of the mounted rider of the third sheet (Th. 608, see its preparatory drawing below) of the 1722 Riding School. Here then now three further Ridinger as

put  in  context  with  the  painting

“Playing  Weasels”

of 1911 (Hoberg-Jansen 144 with ills.)

for  the  first  time.


Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Weasels. Two in front of underwood and rock scenery, one coming from behind a stone, the other on top of that. Etching and engraving. (1740.) Inscribed: J. E. R. f., otherwise in German as before. 7½ × 6⅛ in (19.1 × 15.6 cm).

Sheet 89 (Thienemann + Schwarz 479) of the Design of Several Animals (“These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Th. 1856).

The  Thematic  Initial  Spark .

Marc’s painting of the “Playing Weasels” from 1911, preceded 1910/11 by the lithograph of the same name, betrays the knowledge of several Ridinger coppers from entirely different sets. Marc shows two weasels, of which the one in the tree, bowed over a bough, looks down upon the one sitting in raised attitude on the ground. The trees besides of an eccentricity which he uses in this ostensible density in the painted œuvre only in the two “Acts below Trees”, H.-J. 143, of the same year.

At Ridinger’s weasels there are two playing ones, too, yet both on the ground and in an utterly different context. The latter Marc split up.

And took the pose of the two animals

Johann Elias Ridinger, Pine Martens

from the two pine martens

from sheet 86 (Th. 476, see below) of the set . The young one of which hangs across a bough of equally low height as with Marc and looks down at the mother standing on the hind paws against the trunk luring with a captured bird. “Playing Squirrels” as sheet 88 (Th. 478) shows the same situation, only with the difference of a further one in the tree, too, but keeping a little aloof and not involved in the play. Yet the

bizarre  tree

– and as such also Sälzle characterizes it expressly in the 1980 facsimile edition of the preparatory drawings for the following suite– as rather rare also for Ridinger

he took

Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of Marten and Weasel

from the

“Trace of a Marten / Trace of the Weasel”

as sheet 19 (Thienemann 181, see below) of the concurrent suite of the Representation of the Fair Game with the Respective Tracks and Traces with the same attitude of the marten in the tree and the, however, neutrally shown weasel on the ground.

Thus Marc designed his “Playing Weasels” just so by means of divers Ridinger references as the latter on his part composed his “Amusement of the Shepherds” after Watteau, Th.-Stillfried 1397, from four models of the Frenchman. That finally also the more typical trees of Ridinger’s were not unfamiliar to Marc, the right group of trees of his painterly forest interior “The Würm at Pipping” from 1902/03, H.-J. 15 with ills., demonstrates. But also the par force scenery on the watercolor “Ried Castle” from 1914 – Holst, ills. 11, p. 29 – stands for a further example

of  Marc’s  occupation  with  Ridinger ,

which  in  this  plurality  has  been  missed  till  now .

Ref. no. 14,999 / in stock – not cataloged / request description & offer

The  Model  of  the  Pose  of  the  Two  Martens

Pine Marten. A young one looking down from a branch to its mother bringing a bird. Etching & engraving. (1740.) Inscribed: J. E. R. fec. / N. 86., otherwise in German as above. 7¼ × 5¾ in (18.5 × 14.6 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 476. – Sheet 86 from Design of Several Animals ( “These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Thienemann 1856 ). – Marvelous, wide-margined impression of the 1st edition. – Illustration

Offer no. 7,332 / EUR  248. (c. US$ 287.) + shipping

– The same  together with its pendant of the two beech martens Th. 475.

Ref. no. 15,007 / in stock – not cataloged / request description & offer

Acted  as  a  Model  for  the  Bizarre  Trees

Trace of a Marten / Fore Paws / Hind Paws / Trace of the Weasel / Little Fore Leg / Little Hind Leg. Pine marten in slightly apocalyptic tree landscape looking down at the weasel on the ground. Below the picture the life size traces detailed a-c and d-f resp. Etching & engraving. (1740.) Inscribed: 19. / J. E. Ridinger inv. del. sculps. et excud. Aug. Vindel., otherwise in German as above. 14⅞ × 11¾ in (37.7 × 29.7 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 181; Ridinger catalog Darmstadt, 1999, III.29 with ills. – Posture of the weasel and the lower part of the marten’s tree modified as against the preparatory drawing from 1739 Sälzle, facsimile edition of all drawings to the series, 1980, pp. 58 f. – Sheet 19 of the Representation of the Fair Game with the Respective Tracks and Traces etc.. – Uniquely beautiful impression with watermark WANGEN as one of the sturdy laid paper qualities preferred by Ridinger. – Margins above & below 3-4.9 cm wide, on the left 1.3, on the right 0.6 cm margin resp., each in addition to the wide white platemark. – Acid-freely backed margin tear laterally lower left still extending into the white platemark. Faint age spots in the lower margin. – Illustration

Offer no. 15,793 / EUR  745. / export price EUR  708. (c. US$ 818.) + shipping

– The same (The Pine Marten and the Great Weasel) as toned lithograph by Hermann Menzler printed by A. Renaud for L. J. Heymann in Berlin. (1863-65.) Inscribed: Gez. v. J. E. Ridinger, lith. v. H. Menzler etc., otherwise in German as above. 14 × 9 in (35.5 × 23 cm).

(Joh. El. Ridinger’s Hunting Album) I/14. – From the “(Representation of the best known Game of Central Europe together with Tracks or Traces)” carried as 1st part. – The whole rare set almost unknown to literature and practically to be completed just peu à peu comprises 80 sheet plus a recently discovered illustrated title of far larger image size (13¾ × 14⅛ in [47.5 × 36 cm]), partly compressed to their principal motif or varied in the environment, resulting in

a  first-degree  collection  enrichment .

In the pictorial effect corresponding to that of the aquatint technique not used by Ridinger anymore. – On wide-margined buff paper of impeccable freshness. The inscription of the printer Renaud a little feeble. – See the complete description.

Offer no. 28,427 / EUR  355. / export price EUR  337. (c. US$ 390.) + shipping

The  Riding  Scene  to  the  Woodcut

The Trotting. Open place in front of the ruins of an once imposing estate with group of four horses and six grooms under supervision of the equerry. Finely bordered pen and brown ink with grey wash. (1722.) 8⅜ × 13⅜ in (214 × 340 mm).

The original drawing before being side-inverted for the preparation of the etching for plate 3 – Thienemann 608 – of the first riding school as the wonderful evidence of the perfection of style Ridinger had already reached in the early age of 24. The etchings for the 23-sheet-suite, however, were done by Johann Daniel Hertz and Johann Balthasar Probst for Jeremias Wolff, all situated in Augsburg, who published the suite in 1722. Signature and date of the drawings – with this and a further one here now 18 leaves are known to have overcome to us – to be found on the title: JOH: ELIAS: RIDINGER: invenit et delineavit Anno 1722. Manner and typing of the inscription quite according to that of an Alexander-the-Great-drawing of 1723.

The scenery, dominated by the horse trotting at the longe on the right, captioned in the etching “In many the pace is correct …”. While on the left a horseman only mounts his horse, held by the groom, the only one already mounted trains his own, in fine vista in the middle distance beyond the longe. And just his detail

served  the  33-year-old  Franz  Marc

for  his  woodcut

“Riding  School  after  Ridinger”

of 1913 (Lankheit 839, 10⅝ × 11½ in [27 × 29.3 cm]).

Worked by Marc in the year of the “Tower of the Blue Horses” as one of the icons of the modernity, “the richest (year of his) creativeness” (Christian von Holst). And along with the simultaneous woodcut “Lion Hunting after Delacroix” the work stands for that time of that “well is to speak of a literal entry of the rider into the œuvre of Marc … The animalizing of art aimed at again and again by Marc by abstracting insight into the horse’s and the remaining animal world’s nature … now tips over repeatedly

into  the  revival  of  the  unity  of  horse  and  rider

… He presents himself as “Blue Rider” by a postcard to Else Lasker-Schüler of 1912, who stands beside and behind resp. of his horse and blends into a unity with him (from the view here in anticipation of the “powerful rhythmic depiction” of the “Riding Scene after Ridinger”) … The hound below right (on the latter) which may remind the onlooker rather of a hunting scene, is owed likewise to Ridinger’s “Riding Art” (cf. the corresponding hounds on the sheets 5, 18 and 22). It looks back as it would see where his master, the rider, stays away. An eager atmosphere of departure determines the scene

rendering  Ridinger’s  background  figure  of  the  rider

Johann Elias Ridinger, Riding School, Detail of the Rider

the  actual  protagonist .

The rider and the horse form a unity in their extreme impulse of motion. Although

with  Ridinger  Marc  picks  up  a  specialist  of  the trained  horse

it does not go for him on behalf of an artificial symbiosis of man-animal articulating itself especially by training of the horse in the artificial paces” (Andreas Schalhorn). And

“ Illuminating that Marc with his quite intimate knowledge of art history

turns to just these masters of the presentation of the horse

(Delacroix and Ridinger)

of the 19th and 18th centuries resp. as models ”

(von Holst).

The quotes from Christian von Holst (Ed.), Franz Marc – (Horses). Catalogue of the 2000 exhibition of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart – special issue 2003 – , pp. 122, 250 f. + 165 f. with illustrations 151 f., 208 + 9. – See i. a., too, Franz (Ed.), Franz Marc – (Powers of Nature, Works) 1912-1915. Catalogue of the exhibition in Munich + Münster, 1993, nos. 138 f. with ills. pp. 300 f.

The ruins reminding at Ridinger of southerly patterns and thus surely a reverence to Italy to where this was on the point of going to during his apprenticeship at Ulm only a few years ealier.

Although Ridinger created five riding schools with 111 etchings altogether, one has to go back to Weigel’s inheritance listed in the 1869 Catalogue of a Collection of Original Drawings including a Special Section “Johann Elias Ridinger’s Bequest in Drawings” to find a few (12) pictorial drawings belonging to this part of his rich œuvre, partly dated 1744 to 1760 (nos. 816-827).

The 19-sheet lot 828 may well have consisted of studies just as in view of riding schools no. 318 with its 305 leaves “Studies, Outlining(s) and executed Drawings of Horses and their Races, Riding School, in black and red chalk resp., pen and ink, of the years 1717 to 1760”. Otherwise the works in question would surely have been included within the section of “Riding School” of lots 816 ff.

Also within the 234 drawings contained in 146 lots of the “Fine Collection of Drawings and Engravings by Joh. El. Ridinger of the Possession of a renown Collector” sold at the Wawra auction in Vienna on May 19 ff, 1890 not one pictorial drawing on this theme is to be found.

According to our well-founded archive there are only those bare preparatory drawings and studies which appeared single or in groups on the market since Weigel. As a more comprehensive collection at last a lot of chalk drawings of which 26 belonged to the Small Riding School of 1760/61 traded hereself in 1987.

This only interupted by two earlier events, followed by the one here:

In 1986 Prince Johannes of Thurn and Taxis contributed five drawings for Ridinger’s New Riding School for the tombola of the Ball of the Press in Bonn. This prize was the only one not entered in the ball’s almanack with its worth, but by insiders was regarded as being

of  much  higher  value

than  the  Mercedes  indexed  as  the  main  prize .

Five years later a set of 16 completely executed original drawings in the same direction as the etchings of the 23-leafed New Riding Skills of 1722 debuted with an estimation of 360,000 marks at an auction. All mounted in the early 19th century and fancily bordered on the mounting paper in black ink, on the sides additionally with a line of horseshoes crescending from top and bottom. This finally mounted on a wooden frame and than framed in black and bronze frame.

This stock counted up to the recent time at least 18 works, but was decimated by two by way of separation. These – see also offer no. 28,072 – presented in the same kind as described above. For more timeless presentation the black and bronze frames have been removed (but are still available, of course), the drawings themselves set into acid-free passepartouts with gilt stamped artist’s name und dates, covering also the additional edging as being not originally intended by Ridinger.

Like the other known drawings of the set mounted in the early 19th century and fancily bordered on the mounting paper in black ink, on the sides additionally with  a  line  of  horseshoes  crescending  from  top  and  bottom . This finally mounted on a wooden frame and than framed in black and bronze frames. For more timeless presentation these two latters have been removed and the drawing itself set into acid-free passepartout with gilt stamped artist’s name und dates, covering also the additional edging as being not originally intended by Ridinger.

In such a way then are

Pictorial  Riding  School  Drawings  Paramount  Ridinger  Rarities .

The condition of the one said here is quite fine. The tender edging not any more covering in all places, here and there somewhat cut away also. The almost uniform slight browness in no way a nuisance to the general impression. That the plasticity was diminished a bit – supposedly by influence of light – attracting attention only by comparison with the parallel drawing. And generally enthusing the vigour of the drawing itself mirroring the youthfulness of the artist himself.

The virginity of both the drawings offered here as well as that other part offered formerly can be supposed as being a lot more ancient than back to Weigel. Just as other works of the early twenties Ridinger did not engrave himself, e.g. for the group of Alexander and Pharaoh, for which the drawings cannot be traced neither in Weigel, who took over the artistic estate in 1830, nor otherwise, the drawings for the Riding School of 1722 seem to have been passed over to the publisher. Later on they obviously went their own way without touching the documented market. To this

attraction  of  being  preservated  extraordinarily

comes – since nevertheless artistically complete – the fascination of great earlyness accompanied by being embedded within the evolution of cultural history:

“ Art history looks at Ridinger not only as the perfectionist of the hunting engraving of the 18th century, but also the masterly interpreter of the depiction of the rider and the horse …

“ It should … be remembered that the pure artistic interest in the horse is a main part of western art history since antiquity, since the origin of the Parthenon frieze … Only in the renaissance the (equestrian art) flourished with new liveliness. First in the frescos of Benozzo Gozzoli and Vittorio Carpaccio, in the drawings of Pisanello and Leonardo da Vinci … It was reserved to the Dutch to develop masterly realism in depicting the horse …

“ With this we are at the preconditions for the art of Ridinger. It can be assumed that he became acquainted with Dutch horse pictures in Augsburg. They were available in engravings and were sometimes copied as well. From such models which might have been mediated to him by his tutor Rugendas and from the indepth study of the animals themselves he cultivated his quite personal mastery in depicting the horse. One feels the pleasure about viewing the living creature, about the harmonic concurrence of anatomy and movement, about the inner symmetry of horse and rider, last but not least also by the elegance of attitude characterizing all engravings of Ridinger ”

(Herbert Schindler in the introduction of the 1975 facsimile edition of the Small Riding School).

If there is the question of elegance then there should also be mentioned Karl Sälzle, who in 1980 prefaced the edition of the facsimile of drawings for the Fair Game set by saying:

“ Those  who  want  to  become  acquainted  with  the

whole  mastership  of  Ridinger  have  to  reach

for  his  drawings … since  only  these  reveal  his  genius .”

To this now then the chance here. In absolute quality ,

at  hand  of  unique  items  of  outstanding  rarity .

For  the  Riding  School  of  1722 .

Of  baronial , at  last  countesque  provenance .

Offer no. 28,071 / sold

“ The method you describe sounds excellent. Please proceed … ”

(Mr. J. R. C., September 16, 2003)