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Present  Sepia-washed  Version

in  Dresden  known  as  presumable  only ?

Ruisdael, Jacob van (Haarlem 1628/29 – Amsterdam 1682). The Stag Hunt. Light wooded landscape with vast swamp through which the par force hunt in the foreground passes. Animal and figure accessories by Adriaen van de Velde (1636 Amsterdam 1672). Etching in outline washed with sepia by Adrian Zingg (St. Gallen 1734 – Leipsic 1816). Sheet size 17 × 22⅝ in (43.3 × 57.5 cm).

Kuhlmann-Hodick et al. (ed.), Adrian Zingg, Wegbereiter der Romantik (2012), 3 (partially with grey wash, before the letter; sheet size 18⅜ × 25½ in [46.7 × 64.9 cm]) with illustration; Nagler, Zingg (1852), 4, II (of II; I before the letter) and, Ruysdael, XIV, page 101.

Slive, Jacob van Ruisdael, 1982, per 37 and Jacob van Ruisdael, Master of Landscape, 2005, per 38 resp., both times unchanged  erroneously  as  in  reverse , albeit 2005 expressly designating as reception work for the Dresden Academy, thus not confounding with the reverse etching for the Dresden gallery work by Zingg’s pupil Christian Augustus Günther likewise mentioned by him. So his indication may refer to that small-sized (9½ × 11¼ in [24 × 28.5 cm]) reverse etching recorded in Brunswick with Adrian Zingg as engraver (inv. no. AZingg V 2.6176). Provided he did not just conclude from Zingg’s other reception work, the, as the rule, indeed reverse Evening Landscape with Travelers after Jan Both (K.-H. 4), on Ruisdael’s Stag Hunt.

Hence Slive would not have seen even just an image of Zingg’s present reception work. Whose to be stated expressly

sameness  with  the  original  besides  a  lucky  chance

among the throughout inverted reproduction prints. And this then even in the case of Ruisdael’s infinitely famous hunt in Dresden, reckoned by Wurzbach (1906/11) among the “most important and finest (of his paintings) in existence” and listed as the first one of the twelve there. As he then classifies him practically in unison with predecessors and successors as

“ indisputably  the  most  eminent  landscape  painter

the  history  of  art  knows. ”

And especially with regard to the forest motifs he considers the  environs  of  Cleves  which he might have perambulated.

And Slive (1982) pp. 70 f. recalls Goethe by the words

“ Goethe made no remarks about the Dresden ‘Cemetery’ in the catalogue he annotated during the course of his visit to the Dresden Gallery in 1790 … He did, however, make notes about six other Ruisdaels in the collection.

The  one  which  made  the  strongest  impression

was  the  artist’s  ‘Stag  Hunt’

‘Excellent  and  the  best  by  this  master  here’ …

(yet) the painting was not cited in his essay on ‘Ruisdael as Poet’ published sixteen years later. The changes in Goethe’s taste for Ruisdael’s work cannot detain us here, but it is worth mentioning that his deep admiration for the artist was a lifelong one, and he collected works by and after the artist. ”

The group of trees on the right in present stag hunt incidentally dominated by a dead high trunk familiar in the œuvre, at which then also one of the servants of the hunt expects the stag, directing the hounds on this side by extended arm and finger. Correspondingly Nagler, Ruysdael, XIV, p. 93:

“ … and even in his serene landscapes (as the one here) a ruin or a rotten trunk reminds of the transitoriness of the earthly. ”

For the dead tree/hunter motif in conjunction with a stag hunt running through a water also see Ridinger’s Th. 10 from the set of Hunting with Hounds, by which this refines Roelant Savery’s (1576-1639) cited drawing of the Tyrolese Boslandschap met Jagers from 1609. See catalog of the 1968/69 touring exhibition Landschaptekeningen van Hollandse Meesters uit de XVIIe Eeuw … in het Institut Néerlandais te Parijs no. 138 & plate 1, still the same year worked in engraving by Aegidius Sadeler (Three Hunters and two Dogs near a Pool, Hollstein XXI, 225). No less to be called on the elder Frans de Momper’s (1603-1660) painterly Stag Hunt in the Woods (Beck, Künstler um Jan van Goyen, 1991, no. 823 with illustration.

Not to be overlooked, however, also, even though without vanity tree, Rubens’ (1577-1640) Interior of a Wood with Hunter and Hunting Hounds, engraved by Schelte Adamsz. Bolswert (1586-1659). Cf. Buijs (ed.), Un Cabinet Particulier – Les estampes de la Collection Frits Lugt (Fondation Custodia), 2010, no. 70 with ills.

Zingg now himself owed his development in the especially also coloristic subject to Aberli at Berne, who put him in contact with Wille in Paris, with whom he stayed seven years and now also learned the engraving from paintings. 1766 Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn, whom Ridinger’s sole own engraved dedication per The Deer’s Four Times of Day was for, had him appointed as professor for the art of engraving to Dresden, to which he remained faithful throughout his life. Where he, however, against the conditions of employment there created with the works after Ruisdael & Both “the only large-sized engravings after other’s designs … (and rather turned) himself to the landscape which he drew from nature and reproduced in his studio”, so Anke Fröhlich in the above K.-H., page 101.

Jacob van Ruisdael, The Stag Hunt (Dresden)

His present Ruisdael rendering the one which in literature. With the swamp extended in the foreground as against the original. With splendid depth of the picture

the  original  painting

in  its  light  brown  is  of  great  charm .

“ He trained many pupils here, who generally had to help his own commercial purpose, and established a lively trade with wash sepia drawings and outline etchings ”

(Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie XLV, 323) as “a new, particular manner of reproduction prints which produced the

impression  of  an  original  drawing ”

(Claudia Schnitzer in K.-H., page 37). On this in greater detail Sabine Weisheit-Possél ibid. pp. 67 ff.:

“ Above all there are three things confusing when looking at Zingg’s works. For once it is the fact that of most of the large compositions partly several variants or repetitions exist. On the other hand the identification of the technique causes problems since

drawing  and  print

frequently  are  hard  to  be  distinguished  with  the  unaided  eye …

A confusion of the technique is (note: as also with Bleuler’s gouached sheets) no uncommonness … In most print collections there are works of Zingg’s recorded as drawings, which in truth are washed etchings in outline … After printing … the impressions were washed by hand and

then  trimmed  to  the  edge  of  the  subject

so that the platemark dented into the paper, the characteristic of prints pure and simple, disappears … All this the artist applied with the aim to reproduce his popular drawings as exactly as possible, yet in huge numbers and to impart on them at the same time the

‘ Aura  of  an  Original ’.”

Where “in huge numbers” nonetheless is to be understood quite relatively, rather conceptually. For his sheets are rare, as the with 1852 far more contemporary Nagler reports as connoisseur of degree of also the market. For he “was thrifty with the impressions since he wanted to secure the proceeds for his later years should unemployment or weakness befall him. Only 1804 … Tauchnitz induced him to publish his works. They were published in 4 installments (so supposedly then the stag hunt, too) … before the letter, and … with the same … For long he was regarded as the greatest landscape draughtsman of late years, and also his landscape engravings were praised as model. However, in the course of the years he was surpassed by other artists and obscured especially by (William) Woollett (1735-1785)”.

Striking  proof  of  rareness  in  the  case  here  its above obvious ignorance in natura with Slive and the seemingly only presumable knowledge of a washed copy in Dresden (“On the academic exhibition 1770 he certainly showed one version worked with sepia …”, so Anke Fröhlich in K.-H., page 100, on occasion of the but partially washed state in Dresden).

What all the more decidedly qualifies the as against the latter considerable  edge  trimming  of  the  copy  here  as to be considered possible, that this could be original and just goes beyond the trimming documented already afore. For the three times two each (bottom left & top right each diagonally to each other, bottom right one beneath the other) and top left one pinhead-small little holes in the corners suggest a mounting in the studio.

Also should be mentioned Zingg’s reply 1773 to Chodowiecki’s question why he did not bring to the public the etched landscapes worked after Dietrich and Geßner. “He told me that he could do that only when he had published (for certain reasons)

the  large  etchings  after  Both  and  Ruisdael

… therefore he would regard himself obliged to make his mark first with large sheets; however, of the large ones he got so different proofs that he would get utterly confused

and  did  not  know  anymore  what  was  on  the  plate

and  what  not ”

(after Claudia Schnitzer in K.-H., pp. 36 f.).

An explanation for what is missing here, e’en an impression from the shortened plate ? Affected here the left part of the picture ending barely with the main tree’s terminating branches and dispensing with the adjacent torso trees. Shortened besides below the water area anyway extended as against the original with even so still 1.5 cm margin to the lowest line of the two hounds far left.

On the back margins backed of old all round with rough broad strip of paper, both the two upper corners slightly obtrusively stained in the brown of the wash. In the sky part top left closed margin tear 8 cm deep, a further one of 1.5 cm in the lower margin. The left lower corner tolerably rubbed. Generally thusly indeed age-marked, yet still quite fine, worth viewing and framing, indeed, a splendid large sheet.

Résumé :

Zingg’s  adequate  large  sheet

in  original  wash .

After one of the most celebrated Ruisdaels in Dresden. And , so Wilhelm von Bode ,

“ Therefore it is easy to comprehend how Goethe came to praise him as thinker and poet. He inferred the creator from the paintings … Hercules Segers and especially Rembrandt … depict (nature’s) imposing power and splendor, Jacob van Ruisdael her exalted equality … ”

Offer no. 28,995 / EUR  1380. / export price EUR  1311. (c. US$ 1591.) + shipping


“ Pursuant to your last kind e-mail, I am placing my personal check in the amount of US$ … in the mail today. When it arrive, please send the print … It has been a pleasure dealing with you ”

(Mr. + Mrs. R. G. S., October 30, 2002)