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summer , more summerly — Watteau

“ We will wander on together—
Through the sunny summer weather—
To our cosy little château
Like a pastoral by Watteau ”

Noël Coward, Shadow Play, 1935

Antoine Watteau
Nicolas-Henri Tardieu, Antoine Watteau & Jean de Julienne
To the Tricentenary of His Death

» Only Baudelaire

(1821-1867)

whose appreciation of art aimed at the rare

dared to relocate the painter (Watteau)

among the ›lighthouses‹ of art ! «

Wilhelm Weigand

Der Hof Ludwigs XIV.

3rd ed., Insel 1925, page 192

Antoine Watteau & Jean de Jullienne

Their Enchanting Double Portrait as Document of a Friendship

Nicolas-Henri Tardieu (1674 Paris 1749). Assis, au près de toy … Beside you I sit, under these lovely shadowy trees. In fine parkland with female statue turning her back on the friends in the background Watteau, standing with palette in the raised left and supporting himself with the right on the maulstick, at the side of the cloth manufacturer, dyer & collector Jullienne sitting to his right and playing music (5-stringed floor-standing instrument; gamba/contrabass/violoncello?). On the canvas behind them just this scenery surrounding them. Engraving after Antoine Watteau (Valencienne 1684 – Nogent-sur-Marne 1721). (1731.) Inscribed: A. Watteau pinxit / Tardieu Sculp., otherwise with the beautiful caption

“ Assis, au près de toy, sous ces charmans Ombrages, / Du temps, mon cher Watteau, je crains peu les outrages; / Trop heureux! si les Traits, d’un fidelle Burin, / En multipliant tes Ouvrages, / Instruisoient l’Univers des sinceres hommages / Que je rends à ton Art divin! ”

and a Paris Avec Privillege du Roy. 16⅞ × 12⅜ in (42.9 × 31.3 cm).

Dacier-Vuaflart 3, III; exhibition catalog Watteau 1684-1721 Washington/Paris/Berlin 1984/85, pp. 28, 39 f. & 362 ff. with illustrations and p. 398/I; Thieme-Becker XXXII (Tardieu; 1938; “Besides Benoit Audran the most important engraver of Watteau”), 444 (Watteau et Jean de Julienne, main sheet); Nagler, Tardieu 63 (erroneously as W. with Tardieu; 1848); Niemeyer, Die fruchtbare Durchdringung – Watteau im Werke Ridinger’s, with ills.

On heavy laid paper with watermark Eagle (D.-V. II, p. 85, fig. 16). – The copy of the collection HW (Lugt 1388, not identified, probably German portrait collection) with its monogram stamp on the back. – With roundabout margin 1-4-1.8 cm wide, in this at top old reg. no. (?) in brown ink and two further ones in color pencil on the back lower right. – Two pinhead-tiny holes right in the subject above the easel.

Tardieu’s “Famous Engraving”

(W. cat.; “engraved in a … manner of a highly pictorial effect which does justice to the silvery character of Watteau’s colors in a most accomplished way” [Th.-B.)

in greatest vicinity to Watteau’s Mezzetin in New York (W. cat. 49 with color & comparative illustrations), but irrespective of the “pinxit” for the lack of a handed down immediate design furnished by the W. cat. with a question mark for the creator (large ills. p. 28), only to be called up in the later discussion about the person of the Mezzetin as evidence for the hypothesis that this should be the trusted friend Jean de Jullienne (1686 Paris 1766):

“ Now there is a famous engraving
in which Watteau and Jullienne are seen together

Beside you I sit …

A comparable statue, which is seen from another angle, however, is dressed and not in the nude, is in the background of the New York painting(, too). Obviously it is the one which the guitar player wants to move by his music and his song, by which the subject of the painting becomes clearer. But the fact that it is depicted on the Mezzetin and the engraving ‘Beside you I sit …’, the point that Jullienne has kept the painting in New York (contrary to all other paintings) for his whole life, lead us to the hypothesis that Watteau conceived this painting as allegoric portrait of his friend and offered it to him in pledge of his friendship possibly in a moment when Jullienne … courted his future wife (marriage 1720). ”

Nothing would be anymore as it had been. From this plausible new view the Tardieu sheet grows a thematic gain of quality, raising its rank as doubtless

one of the most beautiful graphical sheets of friendship ,

wanted and dearly paid for at its only rare appearances on the market.

And, all told, there is really nothing supporting the catalog’s over-cautious questioning of the creator, so that the pinxit of the contemporary sheet should enjoy priority. It displays a full Watteau, breathes the incomparable flush of this “greatest painter of France in the 18th century and at the same time the most French one” (Jahn, 1957). And it shows this together with the lasting most important one of the friends. For

“ Thanks to the collection set up by him (Recueil Jullienne, in vol. III of which the sheet here figures as frontispiece) the name of the famous art connoisseur will be tied to that of the painter forever ”

(W. cat. p. 39). Like the sheet itself, as documented here for the first time, as being of the same mind

inspired Ridinger to his self portrait in the woods before the easel

(Th. XIX, 1). For only posthumously it was transferred into copper by Martin Elias, his eldest.

“ Renewing the memory ” .

By which the wheel comes full circle.

Purely pictorially both groups of persons are placed in the right half of the image, the sitting ones with the back to the right and looking out of the picture at the beholder, as also the standing Watteau. And in analogy to the music-book on the ground fanned out by the wind with Watteau/Tardieu the open paint-box on the ground with the inscription on the inner cover with Ridinger. A classic example of the old give and take also in art. And with reference to Watteau/Ridinger more at the same time. For like the former “copied those he liked” (Pierre Rosenberg, Watteau’s Copies After the Old Masters, in W. catalog) for both his pleasure and inspiration, so beside the already known ones several further examples could be uncovered here which prove Ridinger’s love of Watteau and just also his familiarity with the Recueil Jullienne.

And while it took Ridinger’s 300th birthday to present the work to a wide public, led by the great 1½-years Polish touring exhibition comprising the whole Ridinger, so also only the same occasion to stage said exhibition Watteau 1684-1721. As the “first dedicated to the work of the great artist born 300 years ago”. And to the catalog of which wishes and hopes were attached no different to Ridinger. That is to become a starting point for new research and to help

“ to understand and therefore to love the master better

(then) it will have succeeded in what we wanted it to be” (W. catalog pp. 5 & 13).

Having found to Watteau by way of Ridinger it is with respect to such points a quite special pleasure for me to be able to make available after having traded in the past several copies of Ridinger’s forest self-portrait now also its charmingly fresh source. First

for an exceptionally beautiful deepening of your Ridinger collection ,

then exemplarily for the friends of two masters well received through the times in, however, rather closed company.

Offer no. 15,276 | EUR 2300. | export price EUR 2185. (c. US$ 2641.) + shipping

A Sun in the Work of Watteau

Cythera (Cerigo) — the Isle of Love
in Greek Mythology

picked up by Ridinger as found out here for the first time

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Cythera Lady (“Impudent but yet Gallant”). Coquettish grande dame in three-quarter figure to the right, draped as richly as sophisticatedly up to pear jewels and gown falling three-dimensionally mussel-shaped, dancing with the arms spread in deeply staggered landscape with the opened right downright reaching for the ripe grapes on the left as an art-historical symbol of fertility following psalm 128,3. In the background a two-master lies under sails before the coast of a mountainous landscape. Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V. 19¼ × 14 in (48.8 × 35.4 cm).

Schwarz 1471 & plate II, XXX. – Not in Thienemann (1856) & Stillfried (1876) and here besides the copies of von Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) & Count Faber-Castell (1958) not provable elsewhere. – Mounted by old at the corners on especially wide-margined heavy laid paper which is slightly browned at two outer margins. – Right with tiny paper margin, otherwise mostly trimmed to platemark. – Caption in German-Latin. Till now its motto served as title due to not understanding the contents of the picture:

Johann Elias Ridinger, Cythera Lady

Impudent but yet gallant .

Impudence herself dances here , and is yet called gallant .
Wrong name makes the vices only known .

The, what literature overlooked till now,

wonderful sujet inspired by Watteau

in a brilliant impression of best condition

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!

Thematically of highest charm

it is Ridinger’s autonomously treated recourse to that complex in the work of the contemporary of his early years that counts in its time and from then till today to the most admired paintings in art history, to

Antoine Watteau’s

(Valenciennes 1684 – Nogent-sur-Marne 1721)

CYTHERA GROUP

with the Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera (the Ionian island Cerigo as the lover’s isle of Greek mythology) of the Louvre as the primus inter pares by which Watteau reached his admission to the Académie on Saturday, August 28, 1717, “as painter of the ‘fête galante’” as the original title Le pélerinage à l’isle de Cithère was correctingly re-titled in the record of the session. It is

“ (t)he work which unites all qualities of W.’s art ”

(Jahn 1957). Of equal standing The Embarkation to Cythera - so also the title of the engraving/etching by Nicolas Henri Tardieu (1674-1749) - in Berlin as the supposedly last Watteau acquisition by Frederick the Great (between 1752 and 1765) whose purchase from the Hohenzollern for 15 million marks in the past early ’80s was then as spectacular as cheap from today’s point of view. Listed as replica only by literature for long “The differences between the two version (are) numerous”. Early predecessor of both is The Isle of Cythera from 1709, also purchased in the early ’80s for the Städel in Frankfort/Main, “an upbeat … the first idea for the celebrated works in the Louvre and in Berlin”.

“ For almost a century one tried to identify the literary or graphic sources which might have inspired Watteau, and to find out up to which grade he transferred and interpreted them. One understand well why the Frankfort painting attracts the attention of the experts that much as it is the indispensable initial step to understanding and interpretation of the two embarkations. Louis de Fourcaud (1904) identified the literary source which is generally accepted till today: ‘Les trois Cousines’ (1700; see on this further below and Ridinger’s The Lady with the Black Mask) a comedy in three acts by (Florent Carton de) Dancourt (1661-1725). This ‘village story, livened up by interludes’, was newly staged by the Comédie Française in 1709 … The pictorial sources of the work are less visible … Nevertheless there is a definite (and famous) source: Watteau borrowed the idea of the pilgrimess … from the love garden by Rubens … ”

Contrary to the handed down literary source repeated by Pierre Rosenberg François Moureau’s contribution (Watteau in his Time) at the same place, see ending (pp. 469 ff. and here especially p. 500) opens a differing point of view :

“ For a long time one stuck doggedly to search in the direction of the Comédie-Française and the Trois Cousines … Actually the Isle of Cythera in Watteau’s work develops from quite different sources, originating from the fair and the Opéra in the first years of the second decade of the century, about between 1710 and 1715. Before and after this moment shippings to Cythera are decidedly rare on the stages of Paris. It seem unnecessary to emphasize how much this simple fact elucidates the (3) works painted by Watteau … in the full rapture of the cytherian plays. This fashion was started by the fair in a time in which it imitated the great opera stage with the Opéra comique that light-heartedly. In fact the origin of the theme lies in the theatre at the court and in the city, that was previously created at the Opéra … ”

Otherwise, and this has to be taken up again for Ridinger’s Cythera Lady, there also is no common opinion if the Louvre painting – and analogously the one in Berlin – represents a leaving to or a return from the island. Ultimately both are “just as much a ‘Pilgrimage’ as an allegory. The island itself is a ‘non lieu’, a place thought (Schefer, 1962). The painting is both inaction and action, a moment in the time and timeless”.

“ And so Watteau has wanted it (what explains the great success of his painting). The ‘Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera’, which was painted fast, but ripened slowly, represents an ambiguous work that gave and still gives rise to interpretations which might look contradictory, but in reality complement one another.

Its extraordinary fascination

for the Painters

(Turner, Monet), and the poets (Verlaine), the musicians (Debussy) and the writers (Proust), and in the farest sense for the public, cannot be explained else …

Can one insist based on these changes that the paintings in the Louvre and in Berlin do not represent the same scene, that accordingly to the different current interpretations this scene should be a departure to the Isle of Cythera, a departure from Cythera, or an allegory of the erotic poetry and gallant plays? Only one author, Claude Ferraton (1975) … makes this hypothesis his own. For him the painting in the Louvre is a ‘Departure for Cythera’, that in Berlin plays on the island … He says (also from this a reference to Ridinger arises) that the missing mountains in the background can be explained only by the scene happening on the island. But for him especially the painting in Paris represents the future love, the ideal, the dreamt love, that in Berlin the consummate love after which one can do nothing but go home. ”

Both the paintings in Frankfort as in Berlin were engraved in 1730 and 1733 resp. for the Recueil Jullienne as Watteau’s complete edition published by the friend and collector Jean de Jullienne. And doubtless this gallery work served Ridinger for his works after Watteau, so also for Thienemann-Stillfried 1396/97 and Schwarz 1464/65, Schwarz 1458 (supposedly more correctly only indirectly with, see currently here per 28,407) & 1460 (28,403) which he copied by no means slavishly (as at least 1397 could convey to the only inattentive look), from which he just borrowed a detail in cases (1460 and, quite conditionally only, 1458) or, according to the current knowledge here at least, was just inspired by these as in the case of the Cythera Lady here, at which only for information should be suggestive also of Thienemann’s reference to the set of the Four Seasons 1181/84 (available their second version Th. 1193/96) the first three stations of which represented by ladies of rising age, after which Ridinger has quoted in this connection “from the works of (Hyacinthe) Rigaud (1659-1743) and other French portraitists”. For the Cythera Lady is in no way their sister. She stands for fire and temptation.

Yet his Cythera Lady is also neither taken from Watteau’s three Cythera paintings nor from his Coquettes in Petersburg also published in print in the Recueil Jullienne of which one, the one with the mask, also plays into the Cythera theme and who Ridinger borrowed thematically autonomously for his Lady with the Black Mask. And via this the coquette of Impudent but yet Gallant (“gallant” quite in the wording of sources & literature: “come and be witness of our gallant parties”; “Watteau’s gallant ships”; “Cythera is an idealization of the new ‘gallant’ style of aristocratic life”) reveals herself actually only, though consequently. For from the intensive occupation with Watteau substantiated in such a way and going beyond Stillfried/Schwarz’ 4-sheet set above, here lately proven for Schwarz 1460, too, the question about the sense of the ship in the background arises by itself. Which Watteau’s work answers readily.

Together also not answering the question at which station of the journey the lady has to be seen. In regard of the mountains raising behind the ship the island only should be visited according to the interpretation above. However: the lady turns her back to the ship and the scenical voluptuousness of the foreground with the dominating vine bearing full grapes as synonym for Bacchus who is that important in the sources offer the impression of happiness on the island, for which she stands by herself, too. And both during the departure of the Louvre painting and during the supposed forthcoming return of that in Berlin the groups are predominantly placed at the water, they look more or less at it and in the case of the Berlin picture at the ship, too. Only the painting in Frankfort gives the impression beyond of departure and return. That is the destination itself, the joyful enjoyment. Accordingly the dominating central group is turned to the beholder. Quite as Ridinger’s now Cythera Lady. With the ship lying visibly behind in her back, whose sails are nevertheless still “swollen by love”. The heights may then be just a repoussoir, particularly as their existence on the Louvre painting stressed today remained unknown to Ridinger as it was not engraved in the 18th century.

Cerigo at. Cithera (Seutter I)
“Cerigo at. Cithera”: Detail from Mattäus Seutter’s map of the Peloponnesus
(offer no. 15,277)

That in the end Watteau warmed himself in no way at the purely mythological Aphrodite cult the Sailboats of Saint-Cloud of his days prove. These “boats of joys drove the townspeople allured by a short gallant adventure from Paris to the park of Saint-Cloud, the residence of the House of Orléans. The mystic superimposition of the theme of the travel to Cythera and the escapade to Saint-Cloud is perfectly present to the people of that time”. And accordingly the marble balustrade of the picture in Frankfort “that reminds of the Borromaeic islands is quite prosaically inspired by the railing at the small cascade in Saint-Cloud”. Accordingly

“ ‘Happy, departed from the normal path, he let us see love among these new groups, and showed us

the nymphs of our days

as charming as Cythera’

Abbé Fraguier wrote in his Epitaph de Watteau who assigns the modern Cythera definitely to a reality and not a myth … ”

(Moureau).

Remains the never ending discussion of a never ending theme. And a reference to its richly illustrated and documented treatment in the Watteau Catalogue by Morgan Grasselli and Rosenberg to the 1984/85 touring exhibition Washington – Paris – Berlin, from which, with the exception of that by Jahn, all quotations have been taken (see there i. a. on G 9, G 61 & G 62).

And it remains a “Minimized Ridinger” (Niemeyer) surprising again with a

thematically quite extraordinarily charming & optically quite marvelous sheet

of together exceptional rarity

by which he closes up to Watteau of whom Moureau states:

“ … the isles of love have (then) an ideological meaning which surpasses their role as simple place of the gallant allegory by far. This touch of ‘libertinage’ which bewilders one in Watteau’s work, this touch that is ‘turned to Cythera’ … should be examined thoroughly. The ways to Cythera run on philosophical ways … The painter whose ‘intellectual libertinage’ Caylus (painter friend & biographer of W.) emphasized especially … of whom Gersaint (gallery friend & biographer of W.) said that he adhered to ‘the spirit of the libertinage’, ‘but (was) decent in his way of life’ … this Watteau still offers some surprises ”

(Moureau). – Quite as Ridinger.

For whom after the evidences of manifold intensive occupation with Watteau above, all inscribed with the “excudit” only, last, but not least, is confirmed that his “excudit”, beginning with Thienemann commonly regarded as the publisher’s address only though in the sense of Langenscheidt it can in fact include the inventor/sculptor as additionally “has engraved or worked it”, at least partially refers to himself as the artistic spiritus rector indeed and not just at the publisher. The “ipse inv.” on the famous “Self-Portrait in the Forest”, Thienemann XIX, 1, perhaps attached only erroneously by Martin Elias on occasion of his transfer to the plate, is in this regard nevertheless clear. It is equally clear, too, as lately traceable here, that this “Self-Portrait” has its great example: the double portrait Watteau-Jullienne “Besides you I sit, below these lovely shadowy trees” of the Recueil Jullienne.

Offer no. 28,408 | price on application

Dietricy, The Namphs

Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich, called Dietricy (Weimar 1712 – Dresden 1774). The Nymphs. – Die Nymphen. Numerous group, more or less dressed, by a small pond below rocks, accompanied by putti and goats and sheep. On the left a little waterfall. Steel engraving by Alboth. 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Inscribed: W. E. C. Dietrich pinxt. / Alboth sc., otherwise as above. 6⅛ × 6⅞ in (15.5 × 17.6 cm).

Offer no. 14,198 | EUR 43. (c. US$ 52.) + shipping

With Watteau’s Coquettes
& the Italian Comedy as Origin?
Johann Elias Ridinger, Lady with the Black Mask
Even the Great Desmares?

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Lady with the Black Mask. Three-quarter figure sitting to the right at a pillar, the head bowed to the left, holding in her right, “a classic symbol”, a black mask. Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V., otherwise as following. 19⅛ × 13¾ in (48.6 × 34.9 cm).

Schwarz 1458 & plate II, XVII. – Not in Thienemann (1856) & Stillfried (1876) and besides the copies of von Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) & Counts Faber-Castell (1958) here not provable elsewhere. – Mounted by old at the corners on especially wide-margined heavy laid paper which is slightly browned at three outer margins. – Three sides almost throughout with tiny margins, only on the left predominantly trimmed to platemark. – Caption in German-Latin:

Different from the outside than on the inside .
Black on the outside and masked , on the inside white and beautiful .
Oh! some one sees black going in white mask .

According to Schwarz “reverse copy after Coypel ‘Mad. de ** (Mouchy) en habit de Bal’, engraved by L. Surugue” (in that case supposedly more correctly in reverse after Surugue and thus again in the same direction as Coypel as the mask rests in the right hand). – Identical with Thieme-Becker’s (Charles-Antoine Coypel, 1694 Paris 1752, vol. VIII, p. 28/I) “‘Mme de Mombay’ (pastel, engraved by Surugue)”? Nagler, Pierre Louis Surugue, Paris 1717 – 1771, no. 4 with the addition in parentheses “Mouchy” as adopted by Schwarz, nevertheless adding

“ Some believe the lady is Mme. de Pompadour ” .

Anyhow, so Thieme-Becker, “(Coypel) co-worked at the decorations of the palace at Versailles, the chambers of Maria Lesczynskas and Mad. de Pompadour”.

To the opinion here, however, the real origin, as it should have been realized by Ridinger, too, may be more complex and leading back to Watteau. And here to the “Coquettes in Petersburg of about 1714/15 published shortly before 1731 in the Recueil Jullienne with calling in of The Italian Comedy in Berlin of about 1718 reproduced for the Recueil in 1734 (see G 29 & G 65 with (comparative) illustrations in the Watteau Catalogue mentioned above).

With the Coquettes it is the lady on the outer left of the group of four with the black boy at the balustrade who as the only one holds a black mask in her right. Her likewise low-necked gown is nevertheless not identical with the Lady with the Black Mask who neither wears headgear though hair ornaments. That “at first she did not wear headgear … (also was) dressed differently and had laid her mask on the balustrade” may have been known to Coypel perhaps, the Recueil engraving shows her already changed though.

Just as already the opinions diverge if Watteau’s Cythera group shows departure, return or stay, so in regard of the Coquettes

“ Since the 18th century the opinions on the subject of the painting are divided. If one follows the anonymous author of the eight-liner (of the engraving) … then in the scene two young ladies appear who go masked to a ball to meet their ‘gallants’ there (in which, as already stressed, only for one a mask can be seen) … Mariette sees in the painting ‘people disguised for the ball’ … Lépicié speaks of a ‘return from the ball’. (Other contemporary authors) mention ‘masked persons who prepare themselves for a ball’ … Doubtless Fourcaud (1904) gets nearer to the truth when he speaks of ‘a family group during a gallant masquerade’: ‘obviously all figures originate from the sketch book’. Nevertheless in recent time not few authors are willing to identify the persons, especially Nemilova (1964) … and the names of the models. The Russian author does not want to hear anything of an allusion to the ball … but sees in the painting rather

actors of the Comédie Française from the ‘Three Cousins’

by Dancourt, as Italian actors (what corresponds to the traditional hypothesis), and identifies on the left

(the famous Charlotte) Desmares (1682-1753) …

To us the reasonable analysis by Fourcaud appears more suggestive; we see a group of friends of Watteau’s in the painting who were disguised imaginatively and arranged arbitrarily by the artist ”

(Pierre Rosenberg in Watteau Catalogue on G 29, the Coquettes).

At least the Desmares could belong to such a group of friends of the artist. Since

“ There were many reasons for Charlotte Desmares to meet Watteau: as famous tragedienne she herself was not too good for soubrette rôles in the ‘Dancourades’ – Colette in Les Trois Cousines … The nice of the great Champmeslé who produced the most beautiful rôles by Racines … Three works by Watteau … are considered as portraits of Mlle Desmares; Fourcaud (1904) even assumes that she is depicted on the ‘Isle of Cythera’ in Frankfort (G 9) … An engraving by Desplaces after Watteau shows her in the rôle of the pilgrimess (in the Trois Cousines) ”

(François Moureau in Watteau Catalogue, pp. 478 f.).

And Nemilova also sees the Desmares in the Dreameress in Chicago. On this Rosenberg ad G 26:

“ No author of the 18th century, no catalogue speaks of the famous actress in connection with the ‘Dreameress’ … We know her portrait by Charles-Antoin Coypel that was painted short before her early resignation from the theatre in 1721 by the engraving by Bernard Lépicié … One should have to accept that it shows no similarity to the model of the painting in Chicago. But 1712-1714 Watteau was not yet an experienced portraitist. In any case we part the opinion of Nemilova and Roland-Michel

who find again the model of the ‘Dreameress’ in the ‘Coquettes’ . ”

But there then by headgear and position only at the outer left, the – only – one with the mask! In this regard it neither can be overlooked that the – ascertained – actress of the Italian Comedy situated in the middle distance left herself is the only one of the group with a mask, here hold in her left. Because

“ Watteau always paints – except for the harlequin – the mask taken off the face, held in the hand, in a position he might have seen on a painting in the collection of Crozat: ‘Le Comédien qui tient un masque’ by Domenico Fetti, today in the Eremitage … The masks depicted by Watteau were esteemed by the people following fashion and visiting the costume balls at the opera … At a ‘Dame en habit de théatre’ (ills. 89) a relative correspondence with the work of Watteau can be stated ” (she, too, with the mask held in her hand)

(Moureau, op. cit., p. 530).

Finally noticeable that the Dreameress, the Nervous Lover (ills. 1 at G 26) as the actress with the mask of the Italian Comedy always sit/stand to the right, but look to the left. Quite as Ridinger’s Lady with the Black Mask after, so Schwarz, Coypel who shows himself tied to Watteau here and who painted the portrait of the Desmares. Without knowing its engraving by Lépicié nevertheless the objection:

is “ The Lady with the Black Mask ” the Desmares ?

See the detail of the portrait ascribed to Santerre in the Watteau Catalogue, p. 525, with the remark the painter “often idealized (his models) by giving them a sophisticated and oval face”. Such one distinguishes the lady here, too, whose thoughtful-dreamy look is closer to the “Nervous Lover” than the “Dreameress” just showing self-confidence. Finally amazingly the accord of the bearing of sit and head at Coypel/Ridinger & Santerre, at the latter only to the left with look to the right.

Only in pure regard to the ball though the picture appears as a review after the return from the ball. With the mask as not only as an outward attribute, but “as a symbol in love-affairs” (Rosenberg). Just such Madame would be lost in thought here.

Keeping in mind Ridinger’s intensive occupation with Watteau his “excudit” for this

optically so especially beautiful sheet

is read like for an own work as above, too. As then also ditto in respect of printing and conservation.

Offer no. 28,407 | price on application

Nicolas Lancret (1690 Paris 1743). La Fête Champêtre. The party in the open with the dancing pair. Below trees before grain-filed and property set back in the hills. In front right a gentleman teaching a dog giving paw. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1845. Inscribed: N. Lancret pinxt. / A. H. Payne sc., otherwise as above. 6 × 6¾ in (15.2 × 17.1 cm).

Nicolas Lancret, Fête Champêtre

Lancret’s – “one of the most famous beside of Watteau” (Nagler) – very charming sujet, probably after one of the Berlin war losses Dancing Couple in the Open or The Party in the Open (Bernhard, Verlorene Werke der Malerei, pp. 69 f.).

Friendly with Watteau since the days of joint education in Gillot’s study the connection broke up when Lancret exhibited two paintings in the manner of the friend of which one believed this himself had painted them and congratulated him accordingly.

Offer no. 14,524 | EUR 76. (c. US$ 92.) + shipping

The False “Cellist” of Literature
Johann Elias Ridinger, Gamba Player
— A True Watteau!

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Gamba Player (Viola ga gamba). The collector Bougi (or the big-bellied friend Nicolas Vleughels?) with plume hat below raised rich drapery, playing a viole de gambe with 7 chords and 7 ribs. Three quarter figure, sitting frontally to the left, the bowing right laid upon brickwork while to the right the balustrade of a terrace follows, opening the vista of for their part significantly seven cypresses. From their center a fountain shoots up. Mezzotint based on a detail by Watteau. After 1734. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V. 19⅛ × 13⅞ in (48.5 × 35.1 cm).

Schwarz 1460 & plate II, XIX (erroneously as “The Cellist”). – Not in Thienemann (1856) & Stillfried (1876) and with the exception of Baron Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) here not provable elsewhere.

Already as “Very rare” (1894 Boerner LV, 317) to be found at best (so with Rosenthal 1940, correctly as viola, Counts Faber-Castell 1958 & K&F 1979) the version Schwarz 1459, plate II, XVIII, concentrated exclusively on the player set into a frame with caption, whose features up to the ear are worked perceptibly slightly less expressive and detailed, and this quite analogously to hat and plume, but also to the button tape of the jacket.

Yet unknown to all

though the reference to Watteau to whom the richer version here is inevitably closer. Preserved in just one copy (Saint-Omer), Ridinger borrowed the sujet from Watteau’s Bucolic Concert, so the title of the reverse engraving Benoit II Audran worked for the Recueil Jullienne in 1734, which should have served Ridinger, just as other sheets of the Recueil, as model, not without having restored the correct direction for his purpose: M. Bougi bows with his right!

Assumed for 1716/17 Watteau’s painting – see its Audran representations in the Watteau Catalogue, pp. 33, 156, 351 and, as detail of Bougi, 551 – assembles in front of a park scenery with cypresses a party making music and singing with the gamba player shown in full figure as its centre. That this is the collector Bougi from Watteau’s circle of friends was handed down by the art dealer Mariette of whom by the way it was contested if he himself was also acquainted with Watteau. But in regard of Bougi there is uncertainty, too, as there are three possible. Who of these might have played an instrument? Otherwise

“ the persons which surround (Bougi) belong to his family as in the portrait by Sirois in the ‘Family Concert’ … in London … The place, one of the parks, the painter loved that much … ”

(see on this op. cit. pp. 33 f. & 43).

Ridinger now focusses the player indeed, but at the same time, and this contrary to Schwarz 1459, he gives his supposed ambience, also important for Watteau, back to him by rich drapery and park view. For his Huntress Th. 1110 Ridinger by the way used a park background equally determined by significantly upshooting cypresses.

With caption in German-Latin:

Empty thoughts banished with empty sound .
The empty sound of the violin drives away empty whims ,
O could this fill the empty head often .

Alleged as own work as before, ditto in respect of printing and conservation. In the left knee quite minimal trace of scratching. – THE EXCEPTIONALLY RARE ALMOST UNIQUE SHEET of bewitching charm .

Offer no. 28,403 | price on application

Antoine Watteau (Valenciennes 1684 – Nogent-sur-Marne 1721). Fête Champêtre. (The Feast of Love.) Company enjoying themselves amorously and gallantly in a park above a pond with a statue of Venus on the right with cupid contending for the quiver with arrows. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1840. Inscribed: Watteau pinxt. / A. H. Payne sc., otherwise as above. 6⅛ × 6⅝ in (15.7 × 16.7 cm).

Antoine Watteau, Fête Champêtre

Reproduction in the same direction of the “admirable love party in Dresden” – Watteau Catalogue Washington etc. 1984/85, p. 407, ills. 3 – , thematically belonging to the Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera and the Embarkation to Cythera resp. in Paris and Berlin resp. (nos. 61 f. of the catalogue with ills.) in which the statue follows the latter, but without the second putto in the back of the goddess and the faun head and the Mars attributes at the pedestal.

Offer no. 14,509 | EUR 50. (c. US$ 60.) + shipping

Daniel Chodowiecki (Danzig 1726 – Berlin 1801). Blind-Man’s Buff. – Blindekuhspiel. A gentleman together with a lady amidst a numerous party in a manorial garden below an ancient stature. On the right poplar walk, on the left the house. Steel engraving by Albert Henry Payne (London 1812 – Leipsic 1902). C. 1845. Inscribed: D. Chodowiecki pinxt. / A. H. Payne sc., otherwise as above. 7 × 8 in (17.7 × 20.2 cm).

Chodowiecki, Blind-Man's Buff

The larger-sized very charming sujet of 1768 in the succession of Watteau

after the lost painting in Berlin (Bernhard, Verlorene Werke der Malerei, p. 15).

Offer no. 14,525 | EUR 86. (c. US$ 104.) + shipping

Antoine Watteau (Valenciennes 1684 – Nogent-sur-Marne 1721). The Terrace – Die Terrasse. (Pleasures of Love.) Two separate companies in a park, the one in front with guitarist trying to win his belle. On the left a gallant shows his reverence to the back of a stone nymph while on the right two young girls rob a rose bush. Steel engraving by (supposedly Edward John, about 1797 – 1865) Roberts. C. 1840. Inscribed: Watteau pinxt. / Roberts sc., otherwise as above. 6⅛ × 6⅝ in (15.6 × 16.7 cm).

Antoine Watteau, Terrace

After the painting in Dresden, close to the Berlin Party in the Open with its central bench group, in its composition also to the Isle of Cythera in the Städel in Frankfort as expected with precise terrace in the lateral back field, items G 63 and G 9 along with (color) illustrations of the Watteau Catalog Washington etc. 1984/85.

Offer no. 11,877 | EUR 50. (c. US$ 60.) + shipping

Thomas Stothard (1755 London 1834). The Bathers. Seven graces bathing in a mountain rivulet in rich landscape. Colored steel engraving by Charles Cousen (Yorkshire c. 1819 – 1889). Inscribed: T. Stothard, R. A. Painter. / C. Cousen, Engraver., otherwise as above. 8¼ × 9⅝ in (21 × 24.3 cm).

Thomas Stothard, The Bathers

Brilliant in romance and colors. – Stothard “belongs to the minds who soared up from the depth to fame … In view of the strictness of style his drawings … (belong) to the best achievements of the English school” (Nagler). – See the complete description.

Offer no. 12,542 | EUR 189. (c. US$ 228.) + shipping


“ … the (Leonardo) volumes just arrived. Perfect condition! Thank you for the excellent packing … I am looking forward to many hours of enjoyment. I will contact my friend and have him contact you regarding sale of the other set. Thank you again and I look forward to future business with you! Regards as always ”

(Mr. M. W., August 22, 2011)