Now in the Sequence intended by Ridinger
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Human Tempers. Set of 4 sheet of confronting “characteristic figures in scenic environs” (Schwarz) in mezzotint. Inscribed: Joh. Elias Ridinger inv. del. sculps. et excud. A.V. (sheet 4: Aug. Vind.), otherwise as below. 19⅝-19¾ × 14⅜-14½ in (49.8-50.2 × 36.6-36.9 cm).
their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. “92 (4)”
on the underlay cartons
Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen
Neither apart nor complete in Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, division I-XXVIII (1838/57; more than 1000 R. sheets of the etched/engraved work) , Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX (1885; “of greatest richness … Especially rich in number also the rare mezzotints …”) , Coppenrath Collection (1889/90) , R. collection at Wawra (1890; besides 234 drawings 600 prints) , Reich auf Biehla Collection (1894; “Of all [R. collections on the market] since long time there is none standing comparison even approximately with the present one in respect of completeness and quality … especially the rarities and undescribed sheets present in great number”; 1266 sheet plus 470 duplicates + 20 drawings) , R. catalogue Helbing (1900; 1554 nos.) , R. list Rosenthal (1940; 444 nos.).
The rare set of human sensual expression
with caption of 5 lines German-Latin each, by Thienemann listed as 2nd set of his group “Genre Pictures of Mixed Kind”, though in the sequence under neglect of – if present in his copy – the “No. 3.” lower center of the Joy sheet (1232) as only numbering, as likewise noted by Schwarz, from which Ridinger’s intention of a confrontation of the tempers of
Laughing – Terror + Joy – Rage
results as also not recognized by Schwarz.
The Laughing .
“ Mouth and eye testify for the popular things, / So this letter contains, and because for the delight the breast, / Too narrow, so it breaks out into a gracious laugh, / And makes by this the joke aware by loud sound. ”
Richly draped young woman sitting at the source of a grotto with scenic view to both sides. – Not perceptible backing of a pinhead-small little hole in the center of the subject as well as small backing of a tear at the left platemark. Barely worth mentioning utterly smoothed out traces of folding.
“ When a panicky view falls into the eyes quickly, / The whole corpse freezes, the heart becomes a stone, / The mouth cries terribly, the features are distorted, / And from the fainting the mind turns up again slowly. ”
Lady sitting at the little table of a porch, seized by sheer terror as three merry mice jump out of a toilet box. – Rubbed impression, pervaded by utterly smoothed out little folds, impairing though 16 cm of a horizontal centerfold.
“ In what mood this one is discover hands, and feet, / Mouth, eye and brow shows of pure gaiety, / And that the heart runs over for delight and gracefulness, / Teaches mask and bright light, dedicated to pleasure service. ”
Joyously hopping young man amidst of rocky park architecture, a torch in the raised right, while the left waves a black mask over the head. To the right a thrown-over milk can-shaped tub. – Three backed little holes and a likewise small thin spot, neither one perceptible from front, in contrast to, though little impairing only, two utterly smoothed out vertical centerfolds.
“ The heart burns by fury, as lightning the eyes blaze, / The nose swells, the mouth pales and trembles, / The teeth gnashes, the tongue swears as together, / Till finally hand and sword are raised for the revenge. ”
Raving soldier with drawn sword, in the background burning town. – Rubbed impression, several repaired small(er) injuries, but only one of them perceptible only up to a point from the front. Backed corner tear off lower left, touching the J of the signature. Feeble vertical fold and some tiny folds utterly smoothed out, but perceptible.
All with WANGEN watermark as standing for contemporary impressions and surrounding margin of about 5-8 mm, only sheet four below somewhat less. Thebasically very fine print quality occasionally impaired by the respective state of preservation, the chiaroscuro very fine till shining, the rarity proverbial.
“ 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).
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. 14,881 / price on application
„ das ‚Haupt-Schwein‘ ist gut … angekommen und gefällt … falls sich weitere Funde … auftun, freue ich mich über Ihre Nachricht “
(Herr W. S., 29. August 2002)