ridinger gallery niemeyer

Ridinger, Elephant

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Elephant. Male animal from front laterally to the left. Colored etching with engraving after Johann Elias Grimmel (Memmingen 1703 – Petersburg 1759). Inscribed: ELEPHAS. / Elephant. / Elephant. / Familia V. Fünffhufige. / J. El. Grimmel ad viv. del. St. Petersb. / Joh. El. Ridinger fecit et excud. Aug. Vind. 12¼ × 8⅛ in (31 × 20.5 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 1030. – IN THE RIDINGERS’ ORIGINAL COLORING from the unnumbered Colored Animal Kingdom created since 1754 and concluded finally posthumously not before 1773 (“Complete copies are next to untraceable”, so Weigel, Art Cat., sect. XXVIII, Ridinger Appendix 63a as merely 120-sheet torso, 1857 ! , but also just individual plates quite rarely on the market only, at niemeyer’s currently the one as the others all the same). – Remaining uncolored contrary to the prospectus, a second edition from the plates shortened even under loss of animals and with modified titling and the Ridinger inscription removed, yet now numbered, was published by Engelbrecht/Herzberg in Augsburg 1824/25.

Final state with the Familia line within the caption slightly moved up after the removal of the “2. (sic!, the base from which regularly the Q is developed) D. S. XIII.” as reference to Jacob Theodor Klein’s Quadrupedum Dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis of 1751 unbeknown to Thienemann.

With Klein (“Plinius Gedanensium”, Königsberg 1685 – Danzig 1759; town clerk in Danzig, co-founder and later director of the Danzig Society of Naturalists, member of the Royal Society, London, and honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg; ADB XVI, 92 ff.), famous for his collections, Ridinger was in close communication and supported in his Colored Animal Kingdom undertaking in many ways, too. Following Klein’s classification according to kind and number of extremities – superceded by Linné’s anatomical classification – the early states of some plates of the set still show references to his Quadrupedum Dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis of 1751, as known to Thienemann for some plates and documented here for several more by a complete copy available here. Ridinger himself emphasizes by the preface in his words of thanks “in particular the tremendously beautiful collection of P(rofessor). Klein of the Ludolph estate, which comprises nothing but original items.”


of the “fine male elephant with mighty tusks, but in remarkable hue, fine dark puce. They shall get such pecular hue sometimes from the mud they wallow in. However, this was drawn by the painter Grimmel, as the following ones, in captivity” (Th.).

The Memmingen Grimmel (Russian Илья Гриммель.) was pupil of J. Fr. Sichelbein there and of J. van Schuppen in Vienna, “where he is ascertainable as participant in the academic prize competitions 1731-37 … Supposedly at the suggestion of his Memmingen local companion Stählin (Peter v. St., Russian legation councilor at The Hague, etching dilettante) … appointed by the Imperial Russian Academy of Sciences as … court painter … to St. Petersburg in 1741, Grimmel worked there since then as much demanded ‘professor for drawing and painting from the living model’” (Th.-B. XV [1922], 50).

On C & I Honig paper as that sturdy Dutch quality paper Ridinger used in line with his preamble to the Principal Colors of Horses

“on account of the fine illumination” for the colored works

“as for this purpose it is the most decent and best”. – Margins on three sides 2-3 cm, below 5 cm wide. – A tiny brown spot in the white plate field top left.

Offer no. 15,933 | price on application

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

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A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

  1. “famous work which the merited naturalist Jacob Theodor Klein in Danzig published 1751 under the title: Quadrupedum Dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis. Enlarged and revised, he had translated it into the German himself and his friend Gottfried Reyger published it 1760 under the title: J. Th. Klein’s Natural Order and Augmented History of the Quadruped Animals. Ridinger was in close communication with Klein, was supported by him in many ways in this (Animal Kingdom) undertaking and followed Klein’s system” (Th., p. 200)