Variant  of  Schwarz  1507

not  known  to  Literature

as  moreover

Proof  before  all  Letters

– The  Copy  Counts  Faber-Castell –

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Saint Mary Magdalen in Penitence in the Desert. Half-length portrait sitting to the right at a boulder overgrown with flowers, the head turned to the upper left supported by the left while the right rests on a chalice standing on a slab together with  death’s-head  enclosed by a chain. To the left fine view at distant clouds. Above, coming from the upper edge of the picture filling, comet-like beam of light. Below broad field with center cartouche for entries of individual kind, both left empty as the norm with the preserved copies, but also without the name of the saint usually set into the latter. Mezzotint. 20¼ × 16¾ in (51.6 × 42.4 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mary Magdalen


Counts Faber-Castell

their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. 168
on the underlay carton

Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen


Compare Schwarz 1507 (20⅛ × 15¼ in [51.2 × 38.6 cm]; inscribed Ioh. Elias Ridinger exc.: Aug. Vind., with two soaring angel heads upper left in the clouds) as reduced repetition of Schwarz 1506 (26⅛ × 19¼ in [66.5 × 48.8 cm]; inscribed as before, but instead of the “exc.” “invent. et delin.” and without the angel heads); Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975), 192 (Schw. 1507); Faber-Castell 115 (negligently as Schwarz 1506!).

Not in Thienemann (1856) , Stillfried (1876) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX (1885) , Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.) , Reich auf Biehla (1894) , Gg. Hamminger (1895) , Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900) , Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Undescribed  variant

to  Schwarz  1507 + 1506

in  proof  before  all  letters

with the far more expressive beam of light instead of the informal usual puttos which furthermore is not, as the latter, set into the clouds, rather emanates from the utterly broad-flatted black devoid of contours above them. Being 3.8 cm wider than Schwarz 1507 and therefore beyond the tolerable of varying working of paper it must be proceeded from an independent version and not just from differing states of one and the same plate. Already Schwarz judged such a difference of dimensions accordingly as he questioned an identity of his Magdalen reading no. 1508 with the equal one of Th.-Stillfried 1421 not present to him for differing width (38.4 : 42 cm, thus similar here).

The  rosy  young  woman

–  after the evangelists one of the first and (John 20,1)

the first witness(es) resp. for the resurrection  –

in  contrast  to  death’s-head

and chain in the pictorial tradition of El Greco and Jusepe de Ribera and incomparably more charming than especially the sujet of Correggio’s reading Magdalen in idyllic landscape widely spread through steel engraving, but also over-excited other earlier depictions. That Ridinger used the death’s-head also in connection with the attribute of the book (said Schwarz 1508, Stillfried 1421) – just as his Italian contemporary Batoni, 1708-1787, but also already El Greco, 1541-1614 – follows with respect to his vanitates pervading the œuvre in manifold gradation without saying. But also picture-esthetically his present Magdalen with her elegantly draped bosom is a class of her own.

Marvelous  impression  of  adequate  preservation

with WANGEN watermark as standing for contemporary impressions with margins of 5-10 mm running around. Three differently long professionally smoothed out cross-folds no more perceptible from the front as a little restoring in height of the breast. Tiny rust spots in the sky part, three pinhead-small little holes right in the white paper (2) and image margin resp.

“ The  mezzotints  –  Thienemann  resumes  –

are  almost  not  available  in  the  trade  anymore

… all worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger (are) that rare that they are to be found almost only in some public, grand print rooms. I have come across most of the described ones only in the famous print room at Dresden … ”

(pages VIII & 270; negative report for present Magdalen motif of any kind then even there!).

A situation also possible new editions could change little as according to the expert Sandrart (1675) the technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off mezzotint plate only permits 50-60 good impressions.

Offer no. 14,868 / EUR  1380. / export price EUR  1311. (c. US$ 1579.) + shipping

„ herzlichen Dank für Ihre Expertise zu dem (Hogarth-)Kupferstich. Er ist wohlbehalten angekommen. Besten Dank für die schnelle Zusendung. Gruss aus … “

(Herr F. B., 1. März 2013)


The  Cream  of  the  Day