Saint  Barbara

Patroness  of  Warriors , especially  Gunners ,

and  Powder  Cabinets

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). St. Barbara. Half-length portrait sitting frontally to the left of the richly dressed Saint Barbara in the glory with crown + pearls, holding the chalice in the raised right above which the host floats in a glory. The left resting on the cross-grip of a sword as symbol of her dying. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. Elias Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise, in large shell cartouche in the lower margin, as above. 22⅜ × 16¼ in (56.8 × 41.3 cm).

Schwarz 1538 with illustration. – Version not known to Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876) and with exception of Baron Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) here not proven else. – Variant to Th. 1287 with the sword instead of the palm leaf there. – Stillfried + Schwarz 1418 record without mentioning the crown here an otherwise obviously almost identical, also equal-sized version, but without any inscription (this also only and as already “extremely rare” at Coppenrath in 1889 + at Counts Faber-Castell in 1958, too; pre-state of 1538 here?), in which Stillfried possibly sees a pendent to the 1419

St.  Catherine  as  the  sacral  twin  sister

(see its version 1554 here per 28,401). – Per corner mounting by old hand laid on heavy hand-made paper slightly browned at three outer margins. – On almost all sides with tiny paper margin. – Small worm trace in the free outer field top right.

The  wonderfully  rich , wonderfully  great  plate

Johann Elias Ridinger, Saint Barbara

in  an  excellent  copy  in  regard  to  printing  and  conservation

of a cultivated collection of perfectly bright chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a manner of quite extraordinary rarity not only on the market as quoted above, but in general, too. Already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart numbered “clean prints” of the velvety mezzotint manner at only c. “50 or 60” (!). “Soon after (the picture) grinds off for it not goes deeply into the copper.” Correspondingly Thienemann in 1856 :

“ The mezzotints are almost not to be acquired on the market anymore …
and the by far largest part (of them) … (I have) only found (in the printroom) at Dresden. ”

Not  even  there  then  the  one  here

which subsequently remained unknown to Count Stillfried 20 years later, too!

The  also  pictorially  timelessly  marvelous  patronage  plate

of the “Stranger” (probably about 290 till 306) from, so the legend, Nikomedia in Asia Minor, first locked up by her father in a tower because of her beauty, then beheaded by him for her Christianity. December 4th is dedicated to her churchly commemoration. But

throughout  the  year  she  is  the  patroness  of  the  warriors ,

especially the artillerists, is invoked for protection against storms whose lightnings once had burnt the father after his criminal act, and by all those threatened by an even impenitent death, but especially of miners in the adit and tunnel constructors.

And “(o)n French men-of-war the powder cabinet charged to her protection was called Sainte-Barbe” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed. II, 357).

Her worship itself, roughly screened under inclusion of missionary work, in the last analysis worldwide. But center is, originating in the Middle East from demonstrably 5th century, the Old World in its whole ramification owing to crusades, trade + Hansa. In other words, up to Ireland’s western coast, to Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Erivan, Alexandria, Tunis, Spain’s western coast + north (6th cent.).

And generally Barbara finally belongs to that “exclusive company of divine intervenients – or, stated Protestantly, divine representatives – ” which quite topically though “already since some time (the) historians (have) rediscovered … (and) scientifically reanimated” (Peter Burschel reviewing Brad Stephan Gregory’s Salvation at Stake — Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Aug. 2, 2000). – See the complete description.

Offer no. 28,400 / EUR  1230. / export price EUR  1169. (c. US$ 1413.) + shipping

“ … that I have received the parcel in good order. Very well and professional packed indeed. The litho of Mourot is according to my expectations. The drawing is rare. Colouring most probably same time … ”

(Mr. P. v. d. W., June 26, 2003)