Les Amours pastorales
A Ridinger Trouvaille after François Boucher
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Sweet Captivity. / Jucunda captivitas. A shepherd plays the musette de cour – a refined variant of the bagpipe for artistic music particularly fashionable at the courts in 18th century France – for his shepherdess sitting below a birdcage. Another young woman sitting between them with her left resting on the young man’s knee. Furthermore sheep and the hound of the lover. Mezzotint after François Boucher (1703 Paris 1770). Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above. 16½ × 21¼ in (42 × 54 cm).
Schwarz 1463 with plate vol. 2, XXII (variant); Reich auf Biehla Collection 313 (“Extremely rare”, 1894); Ridinger Cat. Helbing 1539 (“Very rare mezzotint”, 1900).
Not in Thienemann (1856) & Stillfried (1876) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian Ridinger Collection at Boerner (1885) , Coppenrath Collection (1889/90) , R. collection at Wawra (1890) , Hamminger Collection (1895) , R. list Rosenthal (1940).
Bipartite WANGEN watermark. – With quatrain in German-Latin parallel text:
“ The bird whistles and sings in captivity,
He collects comfort and spirit as he cannot change it
And Thyrsis imitates him, he looks for recuperated strength,
When his captured heart may name its yearning. ”
Wonderful large sheet
in reverse after Claude-Augustin Duflos’ (1700 Paris 1786) Ce pasteur amoureux chante sur sa musette from his with but 11 × 12⅝ in (28 × 32 cm) considerably smaller-sized four-sheet series Les amours pastorales after Boucher (“Main master of rococo”, Jahn), marked by Schwarz supposedly erroneously as after (René) Gaillard.
As against the Happy Shepherds’ Life also noted by Schwarz ( “Belonging to the set 1399 and 1400”, as 1461, too), in the station here the person of the shepherdess is a very charming development. While there not just her face is vainglorious in accordence with the text, the belle in general is quite a reserved lady yet, we find her really relaxed here. Her face complete bestowal, leg shown, bosom anyway, the skirt folded back invitingly. Everything, however, light and charming and of equal grace the shepherd.
Valued by Helbing in 1900 with 75 gold mark even closer to his very fine copy of the 23-sheet ( sic! ) set The Fair Game (130 gold mark) than the The Happy Shepherds’ Life (70 gold mark), present one was rated and paid for significantly higher in the sale of the Count Faber-Castell collection (1958) than the latter one. Present moreover in the quite evidently best preserved one of the totally five copies known here.
Centerfold barely recognizable from the front, a pin head sized scrape and an equal hole in the free outmost plate field of the text margin. The wide white upper margin fissured and backed acid-freely. Independently of this contrary to – at least – Gutmann’s copy (the other three not illustrated here) in a
visibly deviating earlier state .
Of greatest rareness as the precious art of mezzotint only allows editions of about “50 or 60 clean copies, afterwards (the image) grinds itself off very soon” (Sandrart 1675). Accordingly Thienemann noted in 1856:
“ The mezzotints are almost not available on the market anymore …
“ By the way all mezzotints worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger are that rare that they are to be found almost only in some of the magnificent public print rooms. I met most of the described ones only in the famous Cabinet in Dresden … ”
The whole delicacy of the mezzotint technique —
here you have it .
That in the case here as outstanding additional factor of rareness truly superbly wide margins of 9.3-10 at the sides and 4.8 and 5.5 cm resp. at top and bottom are added, is then just the last ne plus ultra delighting the pretentious collector. Here thus
the rarity as such — the significantly deviating early impression —
wonderful chiaroscuro & enormous margins .
Offer no. 28,108 / EUR 1467. / export price EUR 1394. (c. US$ 1596.) + shipping
“ I am writing to you to have suggestion from you, the specialist of J.E.Ridinger. I am an art historian … ”
“ Thank you very much for quick response. Your suggestion is so helpful and can correct many erroneous captions which have been attached to the Ridinger’s prints in Japan until now … ”
(Ms. Y. K.-S., 19 + 22 December 2009)