At  the  Beginning  of  a  Decades-long  Chain

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule from Front (1714/8)

The  16(?)-Year-Old  Ridinger’s

Fully  Valid  Drawing  of  a  Mule

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Mule from Front. With long bells & feed bag, packed evenly on both sides with covered baggage. Red chalk. Inscribed: 1718(4?). 8 × 5⅞ in (203 × 148 mm).

On buff laid paper. – Of perfect preservation irrespective of a small unfounded backing between the forelegs.

Work  documenting  the  master’s  from  his  youth  on  long  breath

from 1718 the latest, rather supposedly from already 1714 as the then 16-year-old though. For the 8 of the date, smaller than the other figures, is oblique and open above and in such a manner to be related to the representation of half eight values. And therewith completely differing from the normal 8 of a pencil sketch to Th. 503, Great Mule Loaded laterally from behind, instructively packed to the left, inscribed with “Ridinger/del./1718” documented here. By hook or crook it belongs to the


Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule from Front (detail of the date)

of  the  drawn  œuvre .

For the drawing of a stag of 10 points on a hill opposite to a higher hill grown with two firs and full sun above right in black chalk and inscribed “Johan Elias, 7 (years)” discovered by Timm Luckhardt does not yet go beyond a child’s work irrespective of two remarkably seen birds of prey in the sky.

His  début  in  serious  drawings  Ridinger  had  made  at  the  age  of  12 years  at  the  latest . So per collective number 6 – “10 sheet. Different Horses. Earliest (inscribed sanguine) works (in quarto) from 1710 till 1717” – of the Fine Collection of Drawings and Engravings of Joh. El. Ridinger from the Property of a well-known Collector at Wawra in Vienna 1890. 1717 earliest date, too, in the 305-sheet collection of “Studies, Contours and executed Drawings” as item 318 of the Ridinger-Appendix of the 1869 Weigel Catalog of his left Drawings.

Through the decades Ridinger has turned his attention again and again to the professionally packed mule and horse, why, even the stag (Fable XVIII, Th. 782). However, there is

in  analogy  to  the  present  drawn  Mule from Front

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule from front

solely  the  engraved  Mule from Behind , Th. 509 .

All other thematically related sheets are lateral views or yet seen laterally, even if the designation implies a view “from front” as with the Mule in Full Dress from Front (Th. 507) from the seventh part published 1754 of the 126-sheet set Design of Several Animals.

Present  drawing  created  40  years  before

therefore  was  spiritus  rector

without  having  been  reproduced  itself !

And in its documentory value a not at all to be overestimated


Enjoying in its youthful freshness at the same time the eyes . In the chest now and then , at shadowy wall permanently . By hook or crook  a  preciousness  for  the  collection .

Offer no. 15,527 / price on application