Johann Jacob as Draughtsman ?
Johann Jacob Ridinger (? 1736 Augsburg 1784). Many Lynxes are the Deer’s Death. 13 of the latter, of which two are attacked by three and one lynx resp. All others in wild flight. Throughout leafy precipitous rock scenery with water in the foreground, in which already are six – two royal – deer, one of them landed on his back when jumping from above. A further royal one still leaping. Above the group a second one of two stags and hinds each, of which one of the former bringing up the rear with sovereign leap. Center left, however, the dominance of a rearing royal one with abnormal antlers with a lynx on his back seizing his neck, a second one clinging to his belly, and a third one pouncing from the right, while left of this group a further royal one flies into the center of the typhoon, with a fourth lynx jumped onto his rear. Edged pen and ink drawing with wash in black (outline) and grey-brown on chamois-colored strong vélin. 12¾ × 19⅜ in (323 × 493 mm).
Niemeyer, Ridinger Erlebnisse 1698-2020, 2021, pp. 186-188 with color ill. & 288 f. as double full-page plate. – Verso lower right cipher by a presumed previous owner in pencil, legible only the “G:” of the forename, not the longer surname and a second line half-covered by surrounding narrow edge strip from former mounting onto framing board. – Both a 3.5 cm long tear in the right upper corner and a further small one in the sky part as done as the small corner completion lower right. – Verso unessentially fox and age spotted.
With regard to the content it is the most varied, now direct, now indirect picture elements of Ridinger’s, lead by the reared royal one attacked by the lynxes à la Th. 1144, see below, yet also reminding of the somersaulting ibex of Th. 363, whose lynx jumping up below him is the one on the right here.
Pictorially decidedly markedly decorative
terrific , downright excitingly chaotic composition
whose recent passing on prominent auction stage as Johann Elias Ridinger is precluded a priori due to the paper, nevertheless stands in close context to this. That is to the impressively rich
compositionally & formatwise similar lynx-deer group
of the Ridinger appendix of Johann Elias Ridinger’s Art Estate in Drawings within the 1869 “Catalog of a Collection of Original Drawings … established and bequeathed by J. A. G. Weigel (1773-1846) in Leipsic” and there positioned within the deer/roe section as following:
139. A rocky landscape where a high-reared stag to whose back a lynx is clinging, is surrounded by three lynxes. With the name. 1746. Pen. large obl(ong). f(ol).
163. A rock part with a big oak, where a high-leaping stag with a lynx on the back tries to escape two lynxes lurking for him. Another lynx looks down from the oak. With the name. 1747. Wash and black chalk. large. fol. (17 × 15 in [433 × 382 mm].) – See Thienemann (orig. ed.) plate 12.
165. Rocks with trees, where twelve stags and hinds try to save themselves from five lynxes by jumping down into water. One of the stags is seized by two lynxes. With the name. 1745. Wash. large obl(ong). roy(al). fol.
Cf. Weigel 214: A closed rock part, in the foreground water, where from the rock on the left stags and hinds throw themselves down to escape from the wolves; on the right a wolf pursues two hinds. With the name. 1745. Black chalk. Counterproof. obl. roy. fol.
Without reference to counterproof 1892 at Wawra, Auction Sale Catalog of a Fine Collection of Drawings and Prints by Joh. El. Ridinger from the Estate of a Well-known Collector, no. 82.
167. A rock part; ten stags and hinds, attacked by four lynxes, save themselves by taking flight; one stag in the water is seized by a lynx, another one fights on a boulder with two lynxes. With the name. 1745. Black chalk and wash. large obl. fol.
170. A forest with ravine; a setting stag attacked by three lynxes, of which one clings to him. Bister. roy. fol.
192. A stag to which two lynxes cling and hold him, another lynx comes out of the wood, the hind flies. Pen outline, the trees sketched in black chalk. obl. fol.
219. A rocky landscape with water, in the foreground on a rock two stags, the one standing on his hind legs which is seized by two lynxes; another, with one lynx on the back, makes a leap down into the water. Five hinds flee from the rock as above left a lynx is following them. With the name. 1745. Wash, top rounded. obl. fol. – To Thienemann/Schwarz 1144 as the following.
And supplementing from Coppenrath Collection II (1889) the items there
1921. “The Stags attacked by Lynxes on the Rutting Spot.” Black chalk with wash. Inscribed. obl. fol. To Th. 1144 (as already the above). Fine main sheet.
Th. on 1144 (page 243; mezzotint; Joh. Elias Ridinger delineavit / Joh. Jacob Ridinger sculps. A. V.; 15½ × 17¾ in [39.5 × 45.2 cm]):
Below water, surrounded rocks, on these a royal rearing up, whom a lynx bites through the jugulars, another one, which clings at his belly, he kicks that it cries out loud. A strong six-pointer makes a stupendous leap into the water to get rid of the berserk sitting on him. Four piece of deer, a brocket at the head, hasten for the water.
1922. Similar representation, with the same inscription. Ditto, ditto. Inscribed. large obl. fol. Equally important sheet.
1926. A stag is pursued in rock scenery by three lynxes. Pencil and sepia (should actually be bister). large fol. Very fine sheet.
Obviously all of more or less equally large mostly oblong size, with 1745-47 the dates reveal for their creation a thematically as chronologically tight scope of three years the most. Which raises the question what lynxed the master then that much, whether he pursued a particular, yet, as documented here already by means of drawings for the mating call, not realized independent lynx-stag project. Mostly signed, they refer to Johann Elias himself. What precludes studies by the growing up eldest, Martin Elias, by means of his father’s set pieces since at least present work consists of such throughout. To what extent the works from the mid-40s in this regard actually represent new groups and by this a mine for future works – as for instance for the drawing to aforesaid lynx-ibex composition of Th. 363 according to Schwarz to be set with 1752/53 – requires further research.
As regarding the mid-40s, being on vélin (without lines) for present work the father’s hand is out of the question. Invented in England about 1750, productionwise this came to the continent (France) only 1779 and 1783 to Germany. In analogy to the Dutch papers favored by Johann Elias according to his own testimony for the colored works, for the late period the use of vélin outside of the hitherto proven graphical works irrespective of its local production generally to be precluded all the less as already Johann Elias in his mid-20s had established himself by a Stag Hunt (Schwerdt III, plate 214; erlebnis ridinger, p. 5; each in color) as according to Wend the “supposedly earliest German mezzotint in colors” as one also technical forerunner.
Anyway, recently a wooded landscape (pen in black, with brush in black, grey wash, 10½ × 15¾ in [268 × 400 mm]) associated with Ridinger’s youngest, Johann Jacob, with vélin as material showed up in German trade, which corresponds with the four folio-sized signed drawings (Jacob Ridinger del.) of 1773/74 of the collections Marschall von Bieberstein (Catalog of Drawings, Prestel 1879, 110: Forest regions with deer and wild boars, chalk) and Silesian Ridinger collection dissolved 1885 (Boerner XXXIX, 2079: Fine wooded landscapes with deer, wild boars etc., Excellently executed pencil drawings. Mounted) resp. and quotes sheet 15, Th. 210, of the Brockes set, yet at the same time signals insider familiarity by omitting alienation of the three boars (sic!).
With the four wooded landscapes known from literature only in the case of the unmarked one laid before here the significance of the paper prevailed in the negative. What would apply to now present lynx-deer drawing as well, were there not …
Were there not Th. 1144 with especially the significant specific of the royal rearing up with the one lynx by the neck and the other at the belly, see above. And if the transfer of the father’s design into the copper were not exactly by … Johann Jacob!
By which his occupation with that curious group from the mid-40s becomes obvious. Should the creation of the print fall into the time after the father’s decease, at which Johann Jacob was 31, it would fall into the period of general working off of the paternal bequest by the sons. As not least the lynx-ibex variant called on above from the set of the Incidents concluded only 1779.
While these considerations on the origin of present drawing inevitably are not peremptory, so according to current knowledge nevertheless plausible. And more conceivable than that one of the various Ridinger copyists of the first half of the 19th century should have practiced of all things with a lynx-deer theme unused to the overview here.
At least we encounter a chamois leaping through the air in analogy to the stag here above center on the as fine as rare title plate to Hermann Menzler’s lithographic Ridinger Hunting Album from 1863/65, see its illustration page 85 of aforesaid 1998 Ridinger Event Catalog here. But the lynx he dealt with in relation to a bull after Th. 303, which sequence of events also the lynx-ibex fight of Th. 364 follows, thus utterly contrary to his prevailing over the deer here.
For their lynx experience, however, Johann Jacob could resort to aforesaid impressive passage of paternal designs. With each work a variant. And with present one as a further one. And besides with 13 as the most deer. And just to this scenery he devoted Th. 1144 as a large, ambitious sheet. After indeed paternal design. Nevertheless the appreciation follows the sheet as such. In short ,
Left from Th. 260 (1741) via Menzler , right from Th. 266 (1742) via reverse printing plate here
In short ,
A Ridingerianum with questions . Indeed . Yet not without answers .
Which to the opinion here point to Johann Jacob the more the sheet is beheld , the more the facts are weighted.
Offer no. 16,294 | price on application
- ↑ Johannes Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, vol. I.1, 1975, no. 94.
Jan Hendrik Niemeyer
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