“ In the center (is)
the Representation of the Individual Riding Lesson
intent on Utmost Exactness ”
( Dietrich Fröba )
Eisenberg, Baron von. Le Joli. To the right, pressed down onto the hind legs. Engraving by Bernard Picart (Paris 1673 – Amsterdam 1733/34). (1727.) Inscribed: LV., otherwise as above. 8⅞ × 12 in (22.4 × 30.4 cm).
Plate 55 of Eisenberg’s Description du Manége Moderne published first in 1727. – On fine laid paper with white margins 1.2-1.7, on the right 3.5-4 cm wide. – Utterly smoothed out vertical pressure mark.
Eisenberg , his activity as equerry in London in 1728, later in the Low Countries, in Vienna, and finally in Pisa in 1753 aside unknown in his living circumstances, became immortal by his comprehensive riding school, however, published first in 1727, much requested through the centuries and therefore re-issued again and again, in whose “center … the image (stands),
the representation of the individual riding lessons
intent on utmost exactness …
The text is limited to short explanations” (Dietrich Fröba in the 1993 exhibition catalog Horse and Rider in Five Centuries – Treasures from the Library of the German Horse Museum on a French edition of 1733, no. 11).
Brilliant in their thorough concentration
on the lesson as the single essential for the expert
the representations in their sparseness wanting in accessories are not without artistic model though, reminding of not that much dating back works by, e.g., Potter, Berchem, or Romeyn, recognized as modern and enthusing just for that. Considered comprehensively Eisenberg’s plates therefore could well be seen as standing in the aftermath of the Netherlandish art of the 17th century.
Picart , the “most important and together most productive engraver in the French-Flemish region in the early 18th century” (Fröba, op. cit. p. 28), lived in Amsterdam since about 1710 where he also got married in 1719. Furthermore he might have been a grandchild of that Parisian flower painter and dealer Jean Michel Picart, whom Gerson, Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jhdts., pp. 57 + 59, mentions as port of call for the Netherlanders pressing onto the market there, and with whom especially Willem Kalf was well acquainted with.
Present Bernard Picart, however, “established his fame (in Amsterdam), both by the works he presented and a flourishing school in which he trained many artists” (Nagler).
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