Ridinger’s Model for Tiepolo’s Œuvre
as Link of a Highlight Visit in Augsburg

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Le capricorne n’ont qu’un quelque sois deux de petits, leur grandeur est accomplie à la age de 4. ou 5. ans, et deviennent fort vieux. The Ibex they have only 1. occasionally 2. young ones, reach their complete size only in the 4th or 5th Year and grow very old. Two bucks & 1 goat on the highest rocky ledge. Etching and engraving. (1736.) Inscribed: Cum Priv. Sac. Cæs. Majest. / I. El. Ridinger inv. delin. sculps. et excud. Aug. Vindel., otherwise as above in German, French, Latin, & below. 13⅝ × 16¾ in (34.7 × 42.4 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, The Ibex


(Fine Hunting Bag — Pictures of Hunting)

Dr. Hanns Simon Foundation Bitburg

January 13 – March 3, 2013


Catalog Book to the Exhibition

Pages 26 (full-page detail illustration) + 148

Christie’s 2820 (2014, NY), 23

as comparative illustration to Giov. Dom. Tiepolo’s
drawing Mountain Goats … , see below

Thienemann & Schwarz 234

Sheet 39 of the STUDY OF THE WILD ANIMALS with the caption of the Hamburg pope of poets, jurist & senator, yet foremost friend of Ridinger’s, Barthold Heinrich Brockes (1680-1747), in German. – Watermark Great Fleur-de-lis. – Margins laterally 3.7-4.1, above & below 2.2-3.3 cm wide. – On the left in the rocks unobtrusive small wormhole, in the right margin of the subject faint pressure trace. Above tear still extending to the wide platemark and another smaller one in the wide white margin below, both backed with acid-free tape. – On the back scribbles by a collector’s grandson.


— Imperial  Synonym  for  Superior  Power —

as  state  before  the  numbering

as  unknown  to  literature .

“ … I consider , by what means , by his horns’ strength and splendor , The Creator has made these cliff=citizens , so secure against danger As he not only hangs himself onto them , no , if he falls anywhere , As he throws it before protects his head , that he is not smashed to pieces . His daring eye and firm thigh do not shy of any chasms … who is it then , who has not to admire the wise might of God … ”

And not least and by chance already in 1901 Ernst Welisch qualified Ridinger as the indisputably “most important Augsburg landscapist of this time.” Here then


for even in exemplary old Ridinger collections the old impressions of this as painterly as large-sized main set frequently figure as closely trimmed, damaged, and fully mounted. So including present one in the Silesian collection at Boerner 1885, 1894 with Reich auf Biehla with present one moreover just as new impression of about 1850, while Coppenrath (1889) could not obtain the sheet at all. Obviously Ökonomierat Hamminger in Regensburg had downright swept the market. For the 1895 dissolution of his opulent collection by far not limited to Ridinger saw the sheets of this 41-plate set in a plenty (of duplicates) today not to be described anymore. Several complete copies bound & unbound just as individual sheets in frequently very fine qualities (see items 1584-1598 of his catalog on 301 [sic!] sheet incl. 7 ll. English copies). However , not one of the 41 sheet as state as , unknown to literature , present one !

Art  historically  superelevated  besides

by  Giovanni  Domenico  Tiepolo’s  exploitation  of  the  group

(1727-1804), son of the phenomenal Giambattista (1696-1770), for the washed chalk/pen and ink drawing Mountain goats and a young traveller resting, valued highly by Christie’s, see above, with the part of the ibex here as virtually perfect copy, while for the languid traveler he resorted to his father’s painting The Death of Hyacinth now in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.

“ Tiepolo included animals in many of his drawings – from mountain goats to monkeys to owls to dogs, lions, elephants, ostriches and even crocodiles. Very few of these, however, were drawn from life. Rather, he appropriated many of these animals from prints by Stefano della Bella (1610-1664), and, as in the present lot, by Johann Elias Ridinger. Tiepolo most likely became aware of Ridinger … when he was working in Würzburg with his father on the frescoes for the Residenz between 1750-53 (and on the journey there visited Ridinger in Augsburg and became acquainted with his work) … The various animals from Ridinger’s prints

which  first  appear  in  some  of

( father )  Giambattista’s  frescoes  at  Würzburg

… reappear in Domenico’s frescoes from the late 1750s through to the 1790s at Zianigo …

(Domenico)  Tiepolo  returned  to  Ridinger’s  (present  ibex)  print  in  other  works

(centerings etc. not in the original) including a drawing now in the Morgan Library, New York which reframes the present composition (2820, 23), focusing on just the goat on the rocky ledge and the other seen from behind walking down a path (F. Stampfle and C. D. Denison, Drawings from the Collection of Lore and Rudolf Heinemann, exh. cat. New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, 1973, no. 118). Another drawing from the collection of Paul Wallraf expands the composition to include a third animal and two riders on rearing horses … As was often his practice, (Domenico) Tiepolo did not merely copy Ridinger’s print, but rearranged and reinterpreted the composition to create something entirely new … ”

(Christie’s op. cit.; also see J. Byam Shaw, ‘The remaining frescoes in the Villa Tiepolo at Zianigo’, The Burlington Magazine, CI, no. 680, Nov. 1959, pp. 391-95 for the relation between Ridinger’s animal prints and Tiepolo’s frescoes at Zianigo).

According to Ludwig Wagner — “ Wie kam der Superstar in die Provinz ” — prince-bishop Karl Philipp von Greiffenclau’s (1690-1754) commission for the painting of first the emperor’s hall of the Residenz at Würzburg, then even for its staircase, was the highest paid in the career of legendary Giambattista, for Wolfgang Schöne “The greatest painter of the 18th century” (Über das Licht in der Malerei, 1983, page 163). 10000 Rhenish guilders for the former, 15000 for the latter, “at which it has to be considered that just for its dimensions the fresco in the staircase was the greatest fresco he (or any other artist) ever painted.” 3000 guilders travel money, free board and lodging as befitting his rank and all material expenses anyway. “The coffers of the court were completely exhausted.”

This  then  the  man  who  stopped  off  at  the  man

who already two years earlier at the age of 50 could afford to contemplate if considering his being busy with drawings and prints he should accept a follow-up order for four more tableaus by czarina Elizaveta Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great, yet thinking, so by letter of June 29, 1748 to Johann Georg Wille, the soon to be German pope of art in Paris, “ that (considering the previous shipment) I could not avoid accepting it ” (Johann Georg Wille, Briefwechsel, 1999, pp. 76 f.).

The  ibex  part  here  on  its  own  besides, as already mentioned, a perfect copy by Domenico, the full-page detail illustration as additional frontispiece to the catalog at once proves to be a reverence towards Ridinger. But also that deer study by the same, on the market in the late 1980s, not only harks back to Ridinger, but rather is the immediate result of indeed that personal encounter winter 1750, when on their travel from Venice to Würzburg the Tiepolos – beside Giambattista and Domenico the younger Lorenzo, too, and probably also model Cristina – passed through Augsburg and there paid a visit to Ridinger.

Indeed , art can be so full of history.

Offer no. 15,491 / EUR  1300. / export price EUR  1235. (c. US$ 1493.) + shipping

„ Greetings from your Italian friend and Beethoven collector … Please inform me … “

(Sign. L. B., December 10, 2005)


The  Cream  of  the  Day