Following for the Course of the Year Dresden’s Question

“ What is BEAUTIFUL ? ”

As theme of the big special exhibition of the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum at the Lingnerplatz March 27, 2010 – January 2, 2011 for whose catalog volume niemeyer’s could provide the illustrations for Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty. And niemeyer’s , always right in the midst , takes part on his stage , his way .

“ Spring

Johann Elias Ridinger, Spring


(the)  blue  (garter)  ribbon

flutter  again

through  air’s  expanses … ”

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Four Seasons. Large three-quarter figures sitting before landscape accessories (1-3) and at home resp. Set of 4 sheet. Mezzotints. Inscribed: Ioh. Elias Ridinger excud(it). A. V., otherwise as following. 21¼-21¾ × 16¾-17⅛ in (53.9-55.1 × 42.6-43.5 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 1193-1196; R. list Rosenthal (1940) 396-399; Counts Faber-Castell (1958) 82. – See below, too.

Not  in  Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, division I-XXVIII (1838/57; more than 1000 R. sheets of the etched/engraved work) , Coppenrath Collection (1889/90) , R. collection at Wawra (1890; besides 234 drawings 600 prints) , Reich auf Biehla (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).

The  Four  Seasons

in  succession  of  antiquity  and  Middle  Ages

according  to  which  the  perception  of  nature

by  the  elements & seasons

« (had)  an  important  part  in  the

process  of  profanation  of  art  in  the  16th  century …

as  they  provided  the  opportunity

to  arrange  the  interest  at  reality

in  terms

which  were  generally  understood .

They  were  applied  in  both

real  representations  of  nature


in  personifications .

Their  bearing  for  the  development  of  still  life  painting … »

Hella Robels, Frans Snyders, 1989, p. 25

Slightly reduced and somewhat reservedly composed repetition of the third (of five) set of the Four Seasons Th. 1181/84

– “ The  ideas  taken  from  the  works  of

(Hyacinthe)  Rigaud  (1659-1743)

and  other

French  portrait  painters ”

(Thienemann) –

under renunciation of the verses, too. The missing of the latter might have led to the confusion with “Th. 1181-1184 before the verses … Extremely [and] Very rare [resp.]”. So 1885 with the Silesian R. coll. at Boerner XXXIX, 1985 , Georg Hamminger Coll. 1849/52 (1895) & R. catalog Helbing XXXIV, 1501/04 (“Splendid mezzotints. Extremely rare.”;1900) .

Present  Th. 1193/96  hence  in the wide lower margin set off of the subject by roll border sovereignly with just the titles in Latin-German in large typography.

Ver .  /  Spring .

Young woman to the left at a balustrade, looking at the beholder. In her right a rose, the left in a flower basket on her lap. – See illustration.

Aestas .  /  Summer .

Young lady to the right with straw hat adorned with ears and cornflowers, with the right pointing to a grain-field imaginary in this version, while the left rests on brickwork.

Avtvmnvs .  /  Autumn .

Full-figured lady to the right, holding her head down contemplatively-melancholically. In her right vine-knife while her left – resting on brickwork with vine with grapes behind – holds a tendril with grapes.

Hyems .  /  Winter .

Gentleman in coat lined with furs + fur cap sitting in the armchair to the right at the fireplace though nevertheless in quite fine shape and by no means in the sense of Th.’s 1184 (“An Old Man”) and the verse there (“By warm water the old will heat himself”; thus analogously to the “Old Man” in Watteau’s “Coquettes” in Petersburg of which Pierre Rosenberg writes in the exhibition catalogue of 1984/85

“ … despite  his  stick  he  cannot  convince  us

of  his  advanced  age ”) .

Holding a cup in both of his hands he looks laterally out of the picture. On the table teapot and dishes with biscuits and sugar resp. (Th.).

Mounted by old at the corners on buff laid paper which is slightly browned at two/three outer margins. – The winter sheet with tiny margin at three sides, otherwise partially with such one or trimmed to platemark.

The  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  in  the  trade  anymore …
and  the  by  far  largest  part  (of  them) …
(I  have)  only  found  (in  the  printroom)  at  Dresden. ”

Besides Thienemann’s presumed copy in Dresden and the one of von Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) present set is proveable with certainty with one copy each with Rosenthal (1940) and Counts Faber-Castell (1958). The previous version 1181/84 was missing with both the latter, yet – possibly – Helbing and the above two others had it. – Thus here & now

the  trouvaillesque  chance

to  take  possession  of  this  splendid , wall-flattering  set .

Offer no. 28,413 / price on application

M. La Ferré

« sought  to  distinguish  himself

(from  two  neighboring  adequate  collections)

by  creating  a  cycle ,

an  ensemble …

dealing  with  one  single  theme »

Hilliard Todd Goldfarb

in the


Richelieu Catalog ed. by him, 2002, page 336/II

“ Subject: Thanks!

Thanks for your kind reply. I wanted to comment that your thoughts on freedom (the quote that you had on the end of your message to me) are exactly the same as my beliefs.

I write, however, because I was surprised to get it from Europe … Although an American, almost all my early family were Huguenots … In fact, my relative, Jan C. is noted as the earliest C. to have arrived in N. America (in 1636, I think) … ”

(Mrs. C. F., November 14, 2003)