Pleasure Ride
Johann Elias Ridinger, Pleasure Ride from School I (detail)
Johann Elias Ridinger, Pleasure Ride from School I (detail)

into Autumn

“ A … Kind of Index to the Preceding Riding Schools ”

Here as Their Festive Pleasure Ride

Yet Untold Rarer than Feast Days

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Pleasure Ride from School with Its Various Lessons. Splendid large train to the left and right resp. 2 sheet. Etchings with engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Before 1767. Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger inv:(.) del(ineav). et exc(ud). Aug. Vind. / Martin Elias Ridinger filius aeri incidit., otherwise as below. 14-14⅛ × 22⅛ in (35.7-35.9 × 56.1 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 714-715; Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, XXVIII/Ridinger (1857), 39 A; Count Enzenberg Coll. (1879) 2612 ( “Trimmed beyond platemarks and one sheet restored” ); Silesian Ridinger collection Boerner XXXIX (1885), 1911 (new copies) & 1912/13 (only sheet 2 each in older and late copy resp.); Coppenrath Coll. sect. II (1889) 1563 ( “Without platemark. / Very rare old copies.” ); Th. Reich auf Biehla Coll. Boerner LV (1894), 147 (Newer copies); Gg. Hamminger Coll. Helbing XXXV (1895), 1702 (Reprints); Helbing stock cat. XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900) 1256 (Were folded); Schwerdt III (1928), 142 ( “Rare” ); Rosenthal listing 126 (Joh. El. Ridinger, 1940), 318 f.; exhibition catalog of Deutsches Pferdemuseum Grafische Arbeiten der Pferdemaler 17.-19. Jh., 1996, no. 63 ( only sheet 1 acquired here ).

Not in Bibliotheca Hippologica I. H. Anderhub (1963) and Henry A. Sarasin Coll. (1999), neither any copy in the exhibitions to the 300th birthday of the years 1997-2003. And here after only apart in the 1990s passed through complete 2001 the last.

On the strong WANGEN laid paper preferred by the Ridingers with typograph. watermark with margin widths of 1⅜-2 in (3.5-5 cm) below, 1½-2½ (3.8-6.5) laterally & 1¾-2¼ in (4.4-5.7 cm) at top as well-neigh excellent, see above, resulting in sheet sizes of 17¾ × 25⅞-26¼ in (45 × 65.7-66.6 cm).

The smoothed center fold of sheet 2 quite limitedly conspicious from front. And a thin folding tear within the lower subject hatching backed acid-freely, as by way of precaution with sheet 1, too. The wide margins not entirely free of age spots/traces up to tiny foxing on the left side and backed tiniest margin tears. The one as the other entirely qualified just by the width itself, not to mention by the rarity of old copies.

Johann Elias Ridinger, Pleasure Ride from School I

The parade of all school lessons having no rivals

with their German-French parallel text as recorded by Schwarz only for sheet 2, while his sheet 1 regards an otherwise here not documented proof with only the address. Here then uniformly in the final state each with all the letters. That is, with the

designation of all 17 and 14 resp. illustrated lessons

up to the actions of shooting, drumming and tooting of the second sheet to “accustom the horses – including richly marked dappled horses – to the shot … to the ensign, drum, and trumpet”.

The landscape accessories emphasized already by Thienemann – “The fitting background once more excellent” – in line with Ernst Welisch’s (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Augsburger Maler im 18. Jhdt., 1901) claim for Ridinger as indisputably the “most important Augsburg landscapist of this period”. With sheet 2 unobtrusively before Italian manor with parish in the distance left, fully composed with sheet 1, the mound in the distance right of which would become the center of sheet 2 of the companion pieces Heron Hawking (Th. 763/64) published 1777 and therefore posthumously by Martin Elias, towards which already the two large herons top right above the 15-head train fly.

The father’s preparatory drawings to both companion sets already origin from the 1740s. So 1740 & 1746/48 for the Pleasure Ride, cf. Ridinger appendix of Weigel’s 1869 catalog of drawings, nos. 825-828 & Th. pp. 277, u & w, and 282,1.

Just as four sheets of the father’s Large Riding School in Large Oblong Imperial (Th. 708-713) again published only 1774/76 by Martin Elias hark back to 1744, only to occupy the master still for a long time as per dated works from 1749, 1751, 1758 & 1760 (Weigel 817, 821, 820 & 823 f. with dicisive consideration of Th. p. 277, v). Where abovementioned drawings for the Pleasure Ride prove its chronological precedence, as also still published by Johann Elias himself, for what a conservative before 1767 seems proper.

On account of their common chronological point of departure, compositional easiness and formatwise magnanimity this triad of Pleasure Ride, Oblong-Imperial School & Heron Hawking constitutes an exceedingly delightful block in its own right, from which present former one forms by an

enchanting abundance of compressed prowess

Johann Elias Ridinger, Pleasure Ride from School II

of wonderfully drawn animals

the symbiosis of pictorialness & didactics distracted by nothing.

Not keeping any chronological order elsewhere either, Thienemann is not be followed in rating these companion pieces as the summing up fifth and final of the schools. For by the 1740 first preparatory drawing, it shall be repeated, it stood ready before Ridinger’s eyes before only four years later sketching started on the one in oblong imperial as thus fourth, and not third, one. All in all thus the 1760/61 Small Riding School is the conclusion as one of the “last works still created by (Ridinger) himself alone” (Th.). On the timeframe of the drawings of which Weigel/Thienemann keep silent, while the master himself suggests the late period by the passage of having it “drawn from nature … with the help of a friend very skilled and experienced in horsemanship“. And, as far as were known to him, also “no work of this kind has been published yet … Thus one could name (the same) … in regard of its designs one of the most comprehensive, since no author has become known to me yet who has dealt with this so particularly.”

However, if the Pleasure Ride companion pieces shall indeed keep – and quite rightly – their balance rank, so this means nothing but, yet no less either, that even for such an ultimately marginal aspect the master was well ahead of the pack once more again. And besides remains also a fact that this set

ranks among the œuvre’s rarissima assoluta since old.

Disregarding this nonetheless, offered here and now at an in-and-out-again-price per

Offer no. 29,127 | EUR 5900. | export price EUR 5605. (c. US$ 6776.) + shipping

Johann Elias Ridinger, Pleasure Ride from School II (detail)
Johann Elias Ridinger, Pleasure Ride from School II (detail)

“ Thank you Mr. Niemeyer – I will take it! … It should look very nice in my new office. Best regards ”

(Mr. J. R. L., January 6, 2006)