Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Holy Family. Dominant triple relationship of Mary with the sleeping child on her arm, whose right points at the Ecce Agnus Dei as banderole around the cross beam of the child St. John as his later Baptist kissing his right foot, looked at in thoughts by Joseph holding a book with both his hands. In the inscription plate below mussel-cartouche likewise left empty. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. El. Ridinger excud. A.V. Subject size 20⅞ × 16 in (53 × 40.8 cm).
Provenance: Counts Faber-Castell, their Ridinger sale 1958 with its lot no. 166 on the underlay carton; Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1922-2004).
Cf. Schwarz 1484 with plate II, XXXIX; Counts Faber-Castell (1958) 166 without indication as variant to Schwarz.
Not in Thienemann (1856) , Stillfried (1876) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalog I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.) , Gg. Hamminger (1895) , Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger; 1900) , Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).
Of rich chiaroscuro it obviously is the second state of Schwarz 1484 – “Similar, but not identical with Th. 1280” – with less nuance in the details. Here trimmed to platemark on three sides it has to be left undecided if the difference in height constituted by the pictureless filling area above Mary + Joseph results from a shortening of the plate or individual trimming of the paper. – Typographic watermark.
Beyond proven rarity and moreover undescribed state of preprogrammed scarcity as according to expert Sandrart (1675) the technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off mezzotint plate permits 50-60 good impressions only.
Offer no. 14,961 / price on application