ridinger gallery niemeyer
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Johann Elias Ridinger, Servitude taken up for Love of Splendor one shall endure with PatienceJohann Elias Ridinger, The Innocence suppressed by an Invent Pretext

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Fabul 17-20. Group of the four supplementary sheets (all). Etchings with engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). After 1767. Inscribed: J. E(l). Ridinger. inv(./:) et del. / M. El. Ridinger. sc. et exc(:/.) A. V., otherwise in German, Latin, and French as below. 13¼ × 9¾ in (33.6 × 24.7 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 781-784; Metzner-Raabe, Illustr. Fabelbuch, 1998, vol. II (Bodemann), 123.I. – Sheets 17-20 of the Fables. – 3 sheet with figurative and typographic watermark resp. – With fine white platemarks and paper margins. In the left one old traces of stitching. – Especially 18-20 in wonderful to really marvelous impressions.

Innocence is often saved through the Hatred of the Evil – Servitude taken up for Love of Splendor one shall endure with Patience – Foolish Conceit about Foreign Beauties deserves reasonable People’s Contempt – The Innocence suppressed by an Invent Pretext.

The exceptionally rare four supplementary sheets of the intellectually as optically exceedingly charming 20-sheet “Instructive Fables from the Animal Kingdom for Improvement of the Manners and especially for Instruction of the Youth” of which Johann Elias himself, however, has published only the first sixteen. Accordingly then also the 1889 catalog of the Coppenrath Collection on the 20-sheet copy: “Fine main set … Rare”. And in 1900 Helbing qualified in his 1554-item Ridinger catalog (XXXIV): “The last (4) numbers are extremely rare”. And while he owned beside a complete copy multiple single prints of the first sixteen except for 12 & 13, so of the final four plates only 17 & 19 in one additional copy each. On the market till today then almost only the 16-sheet basic set, too.

Ridinger’s fable image a highly momentous milestone within the “basic corpus of about 900 editions of illustrated fable books” (Metzner-Raabe) up to Chagall’s Lafontaine folio with its 100 etchings worked 200 years later as downright a glaring light for the immortality of the fable illustration.

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