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Johann Elias Ridinger, The LaughingJohann Elias Ridinger, The Joy

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Human Tempers. Set of 4 sheet of confronting “characteristic figures in scenic environs” (Schwarz) in mezzotint. Inscribed: Joh. Elias Ridinger inv. del. sculps. et excud. A.V. (sheet 4: Aug. Vind.), otherwise as below. 19⅝-19¾ × 14⅜-14½ in (49.8-50.2 × 36.6-36.9 cm).

Provenance: Alexander Count of Faber-Castell (1866-1928), his Ridinger sale 1958 with its lot no. “92 (4)” on the underlay cartons; Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1922-2004).

Thienemann + Schwarz 1231, 1233, 1232, 1234; Faber-Castell (1958) 92.

Neither apart nor complete in Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, division I-XXVIII (1838/57; more than 1000 R. sheets of the etched/engraved work), Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX (1885; “of greatest richness … Especially rich in number also the rare mezzotints), Coppenrath Collection (1889/90), R. collection at Wawra (1890; besides 234 drawings 600 prints), Reich auf Biehla Collection (1894; “Of all [R. collections on the market] since long time there is none standing comparison even approximately with the present one in respect of completeness and quality … especially the rarities and undescribed sheets present in great number”; 1266 sheet plus 470 duplicates + 20 drawings), R. catalogue Helbing (1900; 1554 nos.), R. list Rosenthal (1940; 444 nos.).

The rare set of human sensual expression with caption of 5 lines German-Latin each, by Thienemann listed as 2nd set of his group “Genre Pictures of Mixed Kind”, though in the sequence under neglect of – if present in his copy – the “No. 3.” lower center of the Joy sheet (1232) as only numbering, as likewise noted by Schwarz, from which Ridinger’s intention of a confrontation of the tempers of Laughing – Terror + Joy – Rage results as also not recognized by Schwarz.

All with WANGEN watermark as standing for contemporary impressions and surrounding margin of about 5-8 mm, only sheet four below somewhat less. Two sheet rubbed in the print, isolated tiny/small backed injuries as well as mostly utterly smoothed out (little) folds. The basically very fine print quality occasionally impaired by the respective state of preservation, the chiaroscuro very fine till shining, the rarity proverbial.

Offer no. 14,881 | price on application