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At the Beginning of a Decades-long Chain

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule from Front (1714)

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: 1714. 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

of the scarcely 16-year-old, whose dating-“4” results from the representation of half eight values, that is, smaller than the other numerals, oblique, and open at top. And differs from the regular 8 of the evidently by both subject and time corresponding pencil sketch to Th. 503, Great Mule Loaded, to the left, inscribed “Ridinger/del./1718” as documented here. See also the 1718 pencil sketch of a mule in outline below. Setting in in 1710, present red chalk work from already 1714 besides belonging to the

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

prelude 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.

At the age of 12 years the latest Ridinger made his serious début as draughtsman

— learningwise fruitless apprenticeship with the Ulm painter Christoph Resch started acc. to 1764 biography of the pupil and friend Gg. Christoph Kilian (cf. Th. pp. XI f.) only as 14-year-old, thus about 1711/12 — .

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