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Dédié
Johann Georg Wille
Dieses machte dem Herrn Zingg zum Angedenken sein freund J. G. Wille in Paris den 26 merz 1766

à Monsieur Wille
Graveur du Roi

5 April 2018
Johann Georg Wille
Biebertal near Gießen 1715 – Paris 1808
to the 210th Anniversary of his Death

“ (C)landestine Representative of German Culture in France ”

“ A special group among (the) Germans in Paris were the artists and engravers, and among these in particular the central figure of Johann Georg Willes has to be mentioned, whose impact as intermediary between German and French culture in the 18th century extends far beyond the social group of artists and engravers …

“ (His diary) comprises … among other a precise chronicle of the German Paris travelers in the second half of the 18th century. For hardly any of the Germans would forego to call on the soon enough famous German engraver at his house on the Quai des Augustins … By this his house had become kind of a cultural institute, an information and exchange center for German artists. Well-known engravers from German-speaking countries who later made it to the top … had finished their education with Wille and lived in Paris in his house. For such pupils he had become an artistic father whose fame they then spread in Europe …

“ J. G. Wille was a passionate letter writer … Indeed Wille was in the center of a widely ramified communication network by which he circulated aesthetic, political or economical notifications …

“ (B)esides Wille grew himself an important own collection … again the focus were the Netherlanders of the 17th and 18th century and the German artists of course … Especially for the field of landscape drawings it can be assessed that he was one of the pioneers who successfully championed the rise and the growing popularity of this artistic medium …

“ … the landscape art (embodied) the genre in which the artistic ambitions could find complete expression … Wille himself had taken a fancy for the landscapes in the environs of Paris and frequently went with his pupils into the country south and west of Paris to draw from nature … these regular excursions (were) an essential part of the instructions given at his school …

“ Art-historically important became in particular his German pupils who shifted the conceptions of art developed in France to Germany and implemented these prolifically there, by which they contributed a decisive share to the development of a specific ‘German’, romantic representation of nature ”

(Décultot et al. [ed.], Joh. Gg. Wille, Briefwechsel, 1999, pp. 1, 6, 13 f., 33, 35 & 40).

50 years before Thieme-Becker likewise had referred to this ‘European network of connection’:

“ W. has kept alive the contact with the German home throughout life. Just as German travelers in Paris (beside princes and aristocrats also artists and scholars like Mengs, Gluck, Herder) not failed to visit his study, so

he entertained a German correspondence , too

… which documents his interest in German literature. With Wieland and Klopstock he exchanged his engravings against books; his esteem of Goethe was returned by the praise of the ‘Instruction Paternelle’ in the ‘Elective Affinities’ … W.s ‘Journal’ kept from 1759 till 1793 in French language … registers … correspondence, too … ”

(Thieme-Becker XXXVI [1947], 11 f.).

Dédié à Monsieur Wille
Franz Edmund Weirotter, Suite de Paysages I
Suite de Paysages
of Marvelous Atmosphere

Franz Edmund Weirotter (Innsbruck 1733 – Vienna 1771). Suite de Paysages. Landscapes and river pieces during various seasons. With properties, villages, and partly many figures by land and by water. Set of 12 etchings on 4 sheet. Inscribed: Dessinés d’après Nature, et gravés par Fr. E. Weirotter., otherwise as above, &

Dédié à Monsieur Wille,
Graveur du Roi, de l’Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, et Membre de l’Academie Royale des Sciences, Belles Lettres et Arts de Rouen.
Par son tres humble serviteur Weirotter.

3¾-4¾ × 7⅛-7¾ in (9.6-11.9 × 18.2-19.6 cm). – Nagler 19.

One of Weirotter’s finest suites,

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Suite de Paysages V

dedicated to his teacher Johann Georg Wille.

With Weirotter the landscape etching experienced a fine culmination and in 1766 Schmutzer, then director of the Vienna Academy, recommended Maria Theresa the appointment to the academy of the still young artist to take over the landscape subject there. According to Schmutzer’s report for the empress the artist in his mid-thirties made

“ with his etched landscapes

which were bought readily in England , the Netherlands , and Germany

4-5000 fl. annually ”.

The suggestion was accepted immediately by the Privy Council, because Weirotter otherwise “already has a call to Saxony in hands”. But at his much too early death “his complete artistic bequest found no market in Vienna; it left to Paris. Connoisseurs and friends of his sheets

had to pay dearly for impressions of individual sheets …

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Suite de Paysages VII

As etcher Weirotter ranks with the most eminent artists … ”

(ADB XLI [1896], 520 f.),

having “developed a truly astonishing activity on both the fields assigned to him (in Vienna), the landscape drawing and the etching,

and given impetuses influencing still today ”

(Thieme-Becker XXXV [1942], 309, quoting Carl von Lützow).

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Suite de Paysages XIII

His whole ability is reflected by the works after own invention as here. His admiration with the contemporaries follows from

letters by and to Wille

as the German Pope of Art residing in Paris. So Winckelmann on occasion of Weirotter’s stay in Rome “Mister Weirotter has made me … a present of own works, which I reckon among the best of the kind … This young artist will be a credit to his native country”. And in glance backward at the preceded

Paris period of training with Wille (1759/63)

this to Hagedorn in Dresden “He has become so ready in drawing that his drawings look far more effortless than his paintings”. And as collector the Leipsic banker Gottfried Winckler “I have no doubt, that Mr.

Weirotter will deliver to us much beautiful after the Italian journey ”.

(Décultot et al., op. cit., pp. 314, 316, 318, each from 1764).

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Suite de Paysages VI

“ Weirotter – so Gerson, Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jhdts., 2nd ed., 1983, p. 338 – worked also after P. Molijn, Jan van Goyen, Aert van der Neer – and Dietricy.

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Suite de Paysages X

His own inventions are correspondingly Dutch . ”

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Suite de Paysages XI

Catching the infinite charm of the flat country

the set here presented under four subdivided passepartouts. Finely to hang, too, piece by piece inside of wainscots or glass doors.

Offer no. 29,049 / price on application

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Vues de la Normandie I

“ AParis chés Wille Graveur du Roi ”

Franz Edmund Weirotter (Innsbruck 1733 – Vienna 1771). Vues de la Normandie. Set of 10 (instead of 12) landscape etchings & aquatints (2). Inscribed: dessiné d’après Nature / et Gravé par F. E. Weirotter /

AParis chés Wille Graveur du Roi Quay des Augustins.
Par son très Humble et très Obéissant Serviteur Weirotter

(pl. 1) and F. E. Weirotter fecit. resp. C. 5⅞ × 8¼ in (15 × 21 cm).

Nagler 12. – Without plates 11 & 12, but not impairing. – With the dedication to M. Brillon Duperon, Ecuyer, and the address of Johann Georg Wille.

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Vue de la Normandie 6

Fine Coastal Landscape Sceneries , enriched with the fishermen and peasants observed during their occupation.

With Weirotter the landscape etching experienced a fine culmination and in 1766 Schmutzer, then director of the Vienna Academy, recommended Maria Theresa the appointment to the academy of the still young artist to take over the landscape subject there. According to Schmutzer’s report for the empress the artist in his mid-thirties made

“ with his etched landscapes

which were bought readily in England , the Netherlands , and Germany

4-5000 fl. annually ”.

The suggestion was accepted immediately by the Privy Council, because Weirotter otherwise “already has a call to Saxony in hands”. But at his much too early death “his complete artistic bequest found no market in Vienna; it left to Paris. Connoisseurs and friends of his sheets

had to pay dearly for impressions of individual sheets …

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Vues de la Normandie IX

As etcher Weirotter ranks with the most eminent artists … ”

(ADB XLI [1896], 520 f.),

having “developed a truly astonishing activity on both the fields assigned to him (in Vienna), the landscape drawing and the etching,

and given impetuses influencing still today ”

(Thieme-Becker XXXV [1942], 309, quoting Carl von Lützow).

His whole ability is reflected by the works after own invention as here. His admiration with the contemporaries follows from

letters by and to Wille

as the German Pope of Art residing in Paris. So Winckelmann on occasion of Weirotter’s stay in Rome “Mister Weirotter has made me … a present of own works,

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Vues de la Normandie III

which I reckon among the best of the kind

… This young artist will be a credit to his native country”. And in glance backward at the preceded

Paris period of training with Wille (1759/63)

this to Hagedorn in Dresden “He has become so ready in drawing that his drawings look far more effortless than his paintings”. And as collector the Leipsic banker Gottfried Winckler “I have no doubt, that Mr.

Weirotter will deliver to us much beautiful after the Italian journey ”.

(Décultot et al., op. cit., pp. 314, 316, 318, each from 1764).

“ Weirotter – so Gerson, Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jhdts., 2nd ed., 1983, p. 338 – worked also after P. Molijn, Jan van Goyen, Aert van der Neer – and Dietricy.

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Vues de la Normandie IV

His own inventions are correspondingly Dutch . ”

Offer no. 15,452 / EUR  1200. / export price EUR  1140. (c. US$ 1378.) + shipping

“ à Monsieur ,
Johann Elias Ridinger, Letter to Johann Georg Wille
Monsieur J: George Wille ,
Graveur du Roy ”

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Autograph letter with signature to Johann Georg Wille in Paris. Augsburg June 21, 1765. Bister. 9 × 7⅜ in (230 × 186 mm). 3 pages plus address page on double leaf.

Provenance

Theodor Oswald Weigel

Leipsic 1812 – Hosterwitz/Pillnitz 1881

E. + R. Kistner, Nuremberg

Hans Dedi

Basle 1918 – Fürth 2016

Fine laid paper corresponding to the Dutch papers Ridinger used for the late illuminated sets of the Principal Colors of the Horses and the Colored Animal Kingdom with watermark Crowned Shield with Post Horn on Cord to the heraldic right and beehive pendant, below in outline “C & I Honig” (cf. Heawood 2747 f. [? Holland after 1727 and England resp.] and Catalog of Watermarks SLUB Dresden, W-DI-854 [1744; without ill.]).

Missing in Décultot, Espagne, Werner (ed.), Johann Georg Wille, Briefwechsel, Tübingen 1999, who from a correspondence lasting supposedly twenty years became acquainted with just four letters plus one by the sons.

Ridinger autographs generally are of great rarity .

So here beside the present one only three letters by Ridinger can be proven on the market, of which one was sold into public collection in the mid-50s (Décultot 8) while both the two others – regarding a payment delayed by the carrier’s changed travel route – figured in German trade in the early 80s, one of which again in the early 2000s.

The execution on three pages with the address on the fourth in harmony with the general findings (Décultot et al., p. 14):

“ The average length of letters was four pages, with the fourth page frequently serving as envelope. ”

At the upper edge of the latter red seal with portrait bust to the left as here hitherto

Johann Elias Ridinger, Seal

not documented portrait signet of Ridinger

on the address page (⅝ × ¾ in [15 × 20 mm]) with corresponding half-sized tear off at the lower edge. – Within the address faint stamp “d’ALLEMAGNE”. – Two smoothed horizontal and vertical folds of the original letter folding each. – At the white center fold of the first page top and bottom fine remains of adhesive tape, on the back of the address page at the same places traces/remains of brown tape, faintly penetrating to the white margin of p. 3.

Fluently and well legibly written – with isolated cancellations, too –

as content-rich as comprehensive late letter by Ridinger

as probably also the final one to Johann Georg Wille, resident in Paris since 1736.

Ridinger’s connection with Wille dated back to at least 1746. So Ridinger’s letter of Feb. 12, 1747, in which he refers to both a letter by Wille of Jan. 3 the same year and a previous one by himself, belongs to the very earliest with Décultot et al. at all, too. And although Décultot has become acquainted with only three more from 1748, 1761 & 1762, the relationship must have been more regular and closer, as also references to previous communications indicate. And immediately after their father’s demise the sons Martin Elias and Johann Jacob write already April 12, 1767 to Wille:

“ … I know how much respect you bore the German upright Ridinger … I am obliged by your esteemed affection and goodwill so you bore for my father, to write it to you so soon … ”

(Décultot et al., op. cit., 394 f.). Wille replied in turn the April 20.

Johann Elias Ridinger, Autograph Letter to Johann Georg Wille

Here now of particular interest, especially as against Wille’s adopted country, France, Ridinger’s inserted

remarks on the state of the arts in Germany:

“ Certainly our worthy Germans especially the noblesse are not lacking in intelligence and will yet the genius for want of the people who might lead them to a thorough understanding of art, as the greater part of the same is lacking for they know nothing of it themselves …

“ Thus you have made a fortunate choice

that you decided to live in a country where in this regard there is a far greater sereneness. but there is nothing to do than that each is content with his fates providence meant for him. ”

« People of pathetic reason

only can claim

that the arts were just for grace and diversion .

We know nations

where hardly anyone would feel tempted to claim this »

Johann Georg Wille

to

Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn ,

February 8, 1764 ,

quoted from Décultot et al. (ed.), Joh. Gg. Wille, Briefwechsel, page 315

Exceedingly enlightening for both Ridinger’s work and character

finally the passage on the biography written by the friend, mezzotint artist and artist biographer, Georg Christoph Kilian (1709 Augsburg 1781), apparently sent by copy to Wille without Ridinger’s knowledge and consent:

“ by mention of Mr. Kilian as my good friend I have to complain in confidence about him in something as he has sent you my circumstances as I think in quite good faith but without my knowledge, however, in several things when I read it over found it too much undue so I ask you not to let it out of your hands without my correction, until the undue has been sorted out by me this favor I kindly ask from you as my best and true friend, and you will do by this a particular favor if you leave it untouched in secrecy. ”

So then in the margin of a further copy of this biography of Ridinger, passed with the estate of drawings into the possession of Rudolf Weigel in Leipsic, Ridinger’s annotation of November 1764, obeyed, however, only partially by his sons when printing it in the preamble to the Colored Animal Kingdom

“ this passage may be left out entirely , for it is far too high for me .”

Along these lines then continuing in present letter to Wille, at the same time naming the (animal) painters François Desportes, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Frans Snyders, Jan Fyt and Carl Ruthart as beside Adam Frans van der Meulen, Parrocel and further more as his paragons.

Characteristic for Ridinger’s self-conception as artist

the mention of exclusively painters as his paragons, as he then writes to Wille already 18 years before:

“ … so it will give me great pleasure to paint if my humble work is considered only slightly well by those spirited minds of the Frenchmen, represent my place and point out to them that I work not as a virtuoso in engraving

but as a painter …

I regret that I could not yet get in copper where I have come to in drawing But I try to do what I do with painterish reason … ”

(February 12, 1747, cited from Décultot et al., op. cit., p. 72).

So more recently then by a consideration of the structuring of the landscape – “before dramatically staged landscape settings in the manner of the Netherlanders of the 17th century”, so also U. Heise 2017 in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon – Ellen Spickernagel unmistakably traces the engraver and etcher Ridinger back to the painter and especially his paragons, too:

“ … more sophisticated compositions in the refined technique of etching and engraving by which a more nuanced representation of light, motion and materiality could be accomplished. He combined with this

the adoption of the Netherlandish landscape art of the 17th century …

It provided in the style of realism manifold types of landscapes … With Jan Breughel I, Gillis van Coninxloo (III), Abraham Govaerts and many other painters the thick, dusky forest interiors were given ”

Quite in unison with his artistic self-conception he then also styles himself in the title sheets to the most varied sets as

Johann Elias Ridinger , Painter in Augspurg .

Only with the appointment as Protestant director of the academy in 1759 the addition “and engraver” appears with the further amendment of “also Director of the Augsburg Academy” as continued by the sons in the title sheets to the posthumously finished/published sets and also in Johann Jacob’s 1767 posthumous late portrait of the father at the drawing table by the window of the study as the most important one among the portraits.

Classifiable in such a manner only as a market event extraordinaire , present

late letter unbeknown to literature

thus also a look back at more than 50 years of artistic work and downright

résumé of the œuvre & character sketch at once.

See the complete description.

Offer no. 16,215 / price on application

“ Mr. Zingg as souvenir
Johann Georg Wille
his friend J. G. Wille in Paris
26 march 1766 ”

Album of Adrian Zingg 1757-1790. Entries by more than 60 guildsmen in, here and there also several, altogether 69 drawings, watercolors and gouaches along with dedication on partially additional sheet, one of which on one and a half pages. 4¾ × 7¼ × ⅞ in (122 × 185 × 22 mm). Facsimile edition in the original size and the original colors. (With epilog by Erwin Hensler.) Leipsic, Insel, (1923). 85 unnumbered ll., 31 pp., imprint. Green orig. hand-bound morocco richly gilt on all sides with color-spotted endpapers & A.Z. monogram on the front cover and brown dust jacket in brown orig. slipcase. Gilt edges.

Adrian Zingg, Album

Andreas Diesend, Stammbuch des Adrian Zingg 1757-1790, in Kuhlmann-Hodick et al. (ed.), Adrian Zingg. Wegbereiter der Romantik/Exhibition Catalog Dresden/Zurich, 2012, pp. 98 f. with 2 ills. – One of the 300 copies hand-numbered in Arabic of the total edition of 320, the 20 Roman numbered of which in saffian not meant for the trade. – Faithful execution “in multicolored phototype under the direction of Fritz Goetz”. – Edges of jacket & slipcase slightly to a little more bumped/rubbed, hardly worth mentioning the loosened binding as frequent with oblong formats.

Adrian Zingg (St. Gall 1734 – Leipsic 1816) had come to Paris in 1759 with his second teacher, Johann Ludwig Aberli, where

Aberli, River Landscape
In friendly memory added by J. L. Aberli Paris, 4 9bris 1759.

he joined Johann Georg Wille’s studio

as the German art hub there, staying with him until 1766, after this recommended him successfully in his own place to Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn – to whom Ridinger assigned his set of the Deer’s Four Times of Day in his only own dedication – as the director general of the arts in Saxony as teacher for the art of engraving at the newly founded art academy in Dresden, whereto he finally departed heavy-heartedly “24 April 1766 the earliest” after years of tough negotiations, accompanied by twenty signs of friendship in the album.

My friend from me the best kiss!

Rush unhesitatingly to where by the Elbe river

The Saxon’s princely city stands parted,

There honor, fortune, to your worth, wait for you

(If it goes after my wish)

and new friends — friend — only love me!

Johann Georg Wille 1766 Adrian Zingg for farewell

“ By mid of July 1766 Zingg appears to have arrived in Dresden. The contributions of Handmann in Bern, Geßner and Füßli in Zurich, as well as Ridinger in Augsburg and Dietzsch in Nuremberg allow to follow his journey through these towns from May 11 until July 12 ” (Hensler, here page 13).

Ridinger’s obvious contribution of a royal stag half risen on a fine clearing in washed bister bears the caption

Ridinger, Stag

“My most worthy friend Mister Zingg by J. E; Ridinger 1766. The 6 July in Augsburg”.

Zingg therefore has visited Ridinger twice. First just on the day of arrival, then the day before his departure, when the master returned his album with the drawing done on purpose. In various other cases such are mounted, thus recourse was made to already available ones.

“ Johann Elias Ridinger from Augsburg …

enquired of Wille about the possibilities

of having made drawings

of the foreign animal species kept at Versailles ”

Décultot et al. (ed.), Joh. Gg. Wille, Briefwechsel, pp. 35 f.

Jacob Philipp Hackert
In remembrance by your friend and servant Jacob Philipp Hackert Paris 1766.

“ With its entries and pictorial dedications by sixty international artists Adrian Zingg’s album is one of the most important ones of his time. Especially the diversity and the high quality of drawings, the almost unbroken traceability of the stations in his life and the insight into the artist circles in which this artist moved

help this album to its prominent position …

What important rank the album had for its owner becomes evident by the only personal entry: ‘66. drawings as reminiscences and souvenirs by the friends A. Zingg.’ ” (Andreas Diesend, op. cit.).

Klengel, Dresden
“ For reminiscence. from life by J. C. Klengel. 1779. ”
View from Zingg’s former apartment in the Academy building, Dresden

Contrary to the facsimile edition “in the original volume (the latter forms the last page), while there C. A. Graff’s (donation) note is on the first. Actually there are not ‘66 drawings …’ but 69 on 83 sheet … by 60 artists and a written dedication … Represented by two contributions each D. Chodowiecki, S. Freudenberger, Chr. G. Geißler, J. C. Hedlinger, J. Chr. Klengel (including from 1779 View on Dresden from Zingg’s former apartment in the academy building), J. W. Meil, Fr. E. Weirotter, by three J. H. Ramberg” (Hensler within the accompanying text here, p. 19).

Choffard, Still Life
The most personal contribution:
Choffard’s (“an eternally newly bubbling source of witty invention”, Th.-B.) “programatic still life as praise of the artistic work” (K.-H.) with drawing and engraving utensils along with copper plate for Zingg’s famous 2-years work Les Bergeres after Dietricy

With 20 entries especially well documented those assembled around Wille in Paris “by their throughout

charming representations impressively documenting the artistic creativity

and the variety of styles, genres and themes of Wille’s circle”, not least the excursions the master – so Hensler page 5 – undertakes with them or they on their own to St. Denis, St. Germain, the lower Seine, Picardy & Normandy, the ruins of the abbey of St. Maur etc., all filling the sketchbooks of the coming generation and manifesting in the œuvres.

Jean Michel Moreau le jeune
fait a Paris le 7 fevrie 1766. par son ami Moreau le jeune
Pierre Alexandre Wille
fait par P. A. Wille … 1766 pour mr Zingg

Started 1757, the album grew until 1790, to rest then as completed until June 11, 1815, on which day Zingg gave it to his pupil and godchild Carl Anton Graff (1774 Dresden 1832), second son of his decades-long friend and Dresden colleague Anton Graff, with whose entry “For friendly remembrance received from Professor Zingg” it ends definitively, yet without being exhausted with regard to space.

Moreau l’ainé 1766
Louis Gabriel Moreau l’ainé 1766

On Graff’s estate sale in November 1832 it was acquired by then crown prince and later king Frederick Augustus II of Saxony. At the time of its reproduction in facsimile it was in the possession of Prince John George, Duke of Saxony, to anchor ultimately for good in 2003 via Swiss trade in the Art Museum Basle.

K.-H., op. cit., page 98, quantifies its volume with 140 sheet against only 85 of present facsimile edition, which logically omits the empty sheets, nevertheless compensated by the thickness of the paper. The given longitudinal size of 195 mm instead of 185 here probably incorrect. The “70” drawings obviously inclusive of the one and a half page written entry. Present binding in green leather, however, deviating from the red marble calf of the original, as probably was reserved to the 20 preferential copies in saffian.

Weirotter
Willage de la Normandie, desiné pour son ami. par Weirotter. 1766. à Paris.

Its artistic and historico-cultural merit established by universal literature up to the reference of individual sheets, so for instance Thieme-Becker on occasion of two sepia landscapes from 1784 by Jacob Mechau of the Speck von Sternburg collection as ancestors to a “similar watercolor from Oct. 12, 1783 in Adr. Zingg’s album”. And ibid. on Zingg himself “his ‘album’ made known by Hensler with valuable contributions 1757-90 …”. So that Hensler himself justly sums up page 16:

“ What a whirling plenitude of impressions this volume gives !

Hardly there will be a pendant to be put on a level with it. ”

Offer no. 16,072 / EUR  945. / export price EUR  898. (c. US$ 1086.) + shipping

Jean Houel, Horseman
fait aparis par hoüel Son ami Le 9 fevrier 1766

  1. Vol. 98 (2017), pp. 472 f.
  2. Ellen Spickernagel, Dem Auge auf die Sprünge helfen. Jagdbare Tiere und Jagden bei Johann Elias Ridinger (1698-1767), in Annette Bühler-Dietrich, Michael Weingarten (ed.), Topos Tier: Neue Gestaltungen des Tier-Mensch-Verhältnisses, Bielefeld 2015, p. 111.

„ Gerne kaufe ich den (1573er) Band … “ & „ Das Buch ist angekommen – wunderschön ! “

(Mr. M. R., June 9 & July 1, 2016 resp.)