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Martin Elias Ridinger, Most Wondrous Deer

The Marvelous Memorabilia

of the Most Wondrous Title Print
available here as the original Copper Printing Plate as a
“ Monument of the Sons … for the … Father ”

Martin Elias & (?) Johann Jacob Ridinger (1730-1780 & 1735-1784 resp., each Augsburg). (Exact and True Depictions of the Most Wondrous Deer hunted and shot by Grand Seigneurs themselves. Drawn and engraved by Johann Elias Ridinger Painter & Engraver in Augsburg.) Copper printing plate in reverse. (1768.) Inscribed in German as before. 15⅛ × 10⅝ in (38.3 × 27 cm).

The optically excellently preserved

original printing plate

to the title-sheet (etching with engraving, Thienemann 242; drawings hereto Weigel, 1869, 522 & Schwerdt III, 217e) of the 101-sheet set Representation of the Most Wondrous Deer and Other Animals published from 1735 the latest

in the reddish golden brilliance

of its 250 years old copper

with the altered legend

under omission of the tail of the ornament originally separating the former German-French caption, too (Schwarz 242a), on the occasion of the 50-sheet new edition of the deer only (cf. Th. p. 62) by Engelbrecht-Herzberg in Augsburg 1824/25. And here traced back far beyond Thieme-Becker (vol. XXVIII, 1933, p. 308) seamlessly directly to the master’s estate itself. And therewith correcting Thienemann (1856) who deemed the plates of the Most Wondrous lost. Hence of exceeding preciousness. For, generally:

“ Preserved original printing plates

of the 18th century

are a great rarity ”

(Stefan Morét in Ridinger Catalog Darmstadt, 1999, pp. 62 f. See also the plates there I.13, I.8 & I.11, color ill. 6 & b/w-ills. pp. 63 f.

And especially on Ridinger’s:

“ Of the high technical and qualitative standard of the works of Ridinger and his sons collaborating in the workshop especially as engravers the (only very partially, among which the 12-plate Paradise set acquired by the Augsburg Art Collections and presented within their 2001 exposition of important acquisitions of the last decade) preserved printing plates bear witness still today. ”

At which not only to the knowledge here – as Stubbe to wit (Joh. El. Ridinger, Hamburg/Berlin 1966, pp. 16 f. & pl. 34) celebrates Th. 722 in respect of its luminous efficiency as an artistic zenith of the late work, he pays tribute at once, for judging by the plate, not the drawing, to Martin Elias as the etcher/engraver of that work – the impact of the eldest, Martin Elias, as doubtless also the etcher/engraver of the plate being up – Johann Jacob worked predominantly in mezzotint – for the Ridinger œuvre exceeds that of just a committed co-worker. Already at the age of thirty he downright acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene, seeing that sets were completed as indeed the monumental 101-sheet one of the Most Wondrous Deer, too. Of whose final 27 works Martin Elias conveyed to the printing plate 21 alone. Without him the œuvre would be – at least in this greatness – poorer in legendary subjects, would also present plate not exist! For Johann Elias’ 1752 drawing used in 1779 by the sons as “Titel-Blättlein” (“Little Title Page”, Th. 343) for the Incidents set originally should bring the Most Wondrous set to a close, on which thereupon actually had been worked still fifteen more years up to Th. 331 from April 1767 as the master’s last own copper-work and sold here, too. Which then

the other year was followed by the one here

as at once closing , crowning , and remembering .

Its composition reminds of so well known details of the œuvre as the stag of landgrave Louis VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt along with barrel and sling guarded by the leader-dog of Th. 299 (ill. Siebert-Weitz p. 29; the printing plate traded here, too), here before a laurel-wreathed target leaning upon the pedestal of a Diana bust. Laterally the pack leader protecting the hare from the spring-sheet of the Four Seasons of the Hounds, Th. 105 (the pictorial preparatory drawing of this in reverse furnished with marks of trace and, on the back, red chalk as signs of its use for the transfer to the printing plate available here). The hooded falcon on the other side greeting dominantly from the title of the 1750 set of the Ways to trap the Wild Animals (the printing plate of which per 16,094). The two further hounds, surely also the rich game-bag, are still waiting for localization, the fountain in the background seems in the connection here more than only accessory of former works, on the contrary as a reference to the Hippocrene, dismissed by the father, yet proving more and more important as a work of self-identification (its first edition here not yet out of print), as his artistic credo to the last detail of his ex-libris (Schwarz 1569) Nulla dies sine linea – No day without stroke of the brush. For which of course the daily routine offered him less and less opportunity nonetheless.

Correspondingly the commemorative composition of the sons as a whole illustrates on its part the

unity of work and person

for the hunting branch and applies beyond the mentor und delineator of the hunt obviously calculatedly to

Ridinger as hunter ,

as which he saw himself in at least two drawings. The one of them of the former Böhm collection as richly garbed three-quarter figure standing in younger years with the barrel grasped by the left, the other one not known here in reproduction as, rested on his gun, leaned against a large trunk, surrounded by five big hounds. Cf. items 16 & 84 of the 1890 Vienna Wawra sale of “… a fine collection of drawings and engravings of Joh. Elias Ridinger’s from the possession of a well-known collector”.

Ridinger was far too modest to adorn himself in such a manner without substance with borrowed plumes. But just as he has painted especially in the early years, so in day-to-day life the active hunter may have fallen by the wayside, may even have been limited to the early three years at Regensburg with count/baron Metternich. Even so the common adverse opinion that he himself had not been a huntsman has not presented anything substantial on this yet. Also in this regard the unsettled question of travels, so to his aristocratic clientele and therefore opportunities for hunting, too, might help further.

Art historically taken for itself alone

“ (the various attributes bestow upon the sheet characteristics of a still-life. The therewith linked reference to the transitoriness of all earthly things let the bust over a pedestal with inscription and the foliage-garland appear like accessories from the tomb or monument art. The poem beneath the Diana bust [present also in the state here] summarizes in short form the convictions on which Ridinger’s artistic work was based. In this respect one may indeed see in the title page of the ‘Wondrous Deer’ something like a monument by the Ridinger sons for their father deceased the previous year) ”

(Morét ibid. pp. 137 ff. along with an illustration of the etching in the state before the alteration of the writing in the lower margin).

Which in 1770 was followed by the first title page (Th. 974) to the Colored Animal Kingdom, designed by Martin Elias, as an incarnate “graphic monument” (Morét with ill. ibid p. 62).

Unaltered in 1824/25 on present plate also the

Ridinger maxim “Virtute et ingenio” — by Morality and Genius

of aforementioned drawing of 1752, embedded here in a vignette above the caption, which was replaced by La Fuite et la fatique when in 1779 the same was used as title page to the Incidents set.

With all due modesty, characteristic of his personality, the master was well aware of his work from the beginning. Anticipating the valuations through the centuries. So in 1889 W. Schmidt in the ADB (XXVIII, 505 ff.):

“ At all times Ridinger was accepted in contrast to so many others from the 18th century whose fame soon turned pale. Within the conventional style characterizing that epoch

his animal depictions produced an impression like a fresh natural spring. ”

Correspondingly Ernst Welisch in 1901 in respect of the landscape-field; Wolf Stubbe in 1966 for the artistic general appearance; in 1969 the exemplarily set off honoring by the Czechoslovakian postal authority; in 1997 the Polish voice of Alojzy Oborny pointing at the same time to future; in 2002 the Meiningen Museums gauging him “in his whole greatness”.

Here and now then ultimately as an exponentiated worldwide unicum & collector’s item

the sons’ title version to the Most Wondrous in remembrance of the work

as the one and only preserved one of the two commemorative plates !

“It’s breathtaking again and again what you can offer”, so an international publisher on a former other occasion.

Shielded from tarnishing by fine application of varnish, the plate is generally printable in the ordinary course of its use through the times, however, it is offered and sold as a work of art and a collector’s item, thus without prejudice to its eventual printing quality. – Shortly,

an extremely gratifying , worldwide unique absolutum .

Proposed to you with the recommendation of a timeless-elegantly frameless hanging (fittings included) for that you will experience the reflection of the respective light to the fullest.

Offer no. 16,224 / price on application