Johann Elias Ridinger, The Cythera Lady

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Cythera Lady (“Impudent but yet Gallant”). Coquettish grande dame in three-quarter figure to the right, draped as richly as sophisticatedly up to pear jewels and gown falling three-dimensionally mussel-shaped, dancing with the arms spread in deeply staggered landscape with the opened right downright reaching for the ripe grapes on the left as an art-historical symbol of fertility following psalm 128,3. In the background a two-master lies under sails before the coast of a mountainous landscape. Mezzotint. Inscribed: I. El. Ridinger excud. A. V. 19¼ × 14 in (48.8 × 35.4 cm).

Schwarz (1910) 1471 + plate II, XXX; Alexander Count of Faber-Castell (1958), 162; Niemeyer, Ridinger Erlebnisse 1698-2020, 2021, pp. 153-158 with 4 color ills.

Not in Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876), Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57; more than 1000 R.-sheets of the engraved/etched work), Silesian Ridinger Collection at Boerner (1885; “of greatest richness … many rarities”), Coppenrath Collection (1889/90), R. collection at Wawra (1890; besides 234 drawings 600 prints), Reich auf Biehla Collection (1894; “Of all [R. collections on the market] since long time there is none standing comparison even approximately with the present one in respect of completeness and quality … especially the rarities and undescribed sheets present in great number”; 1266 sheet plus 470 duplicates + 20 drawings), R. catalogue Helbing (1900; 1554 nos.), R. list Rosenthal (1940; 444 nos.).

The wonderful sujet inspired by Watteau’s Cythera works overlooked by literature till now:

“ Cerigo, the old Cythera — hallowed to Aphrodite, since here the goddess should have gone ashore. Her cult just as that of Adonis spread from here over the (Greek) mainland … Cerigo passed for the key of Peloponnesus ”


The brilliant impression of best condition of a cultivated collection of perfectly bright chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a manner of quite extraordinary rarity not only on the market, but in general, too. – Mounted by old at the corners on especially wide-margined buff laid paper which is slightly browned at two outer margins. – Right with tiny paper margin, otherwise mostly trimmed to platemark. – Caption in German-Latin the motto of which till now served as title due to not understanding the contents of the picture.

Offer no. 28,408 | price on application

1959 · decades-long ridinger expertise · 2022