The Stags of Lake Walen in Switzerland

as two of the solely three Swiss Ridinger

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Pursued Stags. For once a mountain stag of 22 points by four lynxes, for the other one of 10 points by hounds. Above the bank of Lake Walen in the canton St. Gallen and before the fall into the same. Set of 2 sheet. Mezzotints. Inscribed: J. El. Ridinger del: 1741. den 11. Martji and Joh. Elias Ridinger inv: del. et excud. A. V. 1741 resp., otherwise as below. 14 × 10⅞ in (35.4 × 27.5-27.6 cm).

Thienemann 1145 ( “A very beautiful and rare sheet”, 1856) + 1146; Schwarz 1145-1146; Weigel XXVIII, Ridinger 75 a/b; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1984 (only sheet 2 + “extremely rare”, 1885!); Reich auf Biehla 220/21 ( “Very rare”, 1894 ); Helbing XXXIV, 1500 ( sheet 2 only, the afore-mentioned of 1885? + “Very rare sheet”, 1900 ); Schwerdt III, 148 (“A fine set”, 1928); Counts Faber-Castell 76 (one trimmed to the edge of the subject; 1958).

Neither in Coppenrath (1889/90) + Schoeller (1921) collections nor in listing Rosenthal (1940) and the Ridinger exhibition catalogues 1967 + 1997 ff.

For Thienemann 1145 see moreover the drawing thematically belonging to, but not transferred into copper by Ridinger, added there (only in the 1856 original Thienemann) as engraving XII worked by Joh. Carl Loedel and annotated by Thienemann (p. XXXI) with the words “Here the stag is still fleeting, there (on 1146) he tumbles down”. And in context and with the lynx only rushing in yet, Thienemann 1145 corresponds with one of the most exciting among the eminent rare Ridinger oils, namely the Petersburg one of no. 284 (with ills.) in vol. XIV (1987) of The Hermitage Catalogue of Western European Painting, its 4 ft 10¼ × 2 ft 9½ in (148 × 85 cm), however, urged to realize a still richer composition.

The very rare pendants of the pursued Swiss stags

in very fine and with 17⅞-18⅜ × 12⅜-13¼ in (45.5-46.8 × 31.5-33.5 cm) sheet size (Schwerdt copy: 17¾-18⅛ × 14 in [45-46 × 35.4-35.5]) enviably wide-margined impressions as both frequently already technically that far out of reach for the collector of the delicate velvety old mezzotints as – so the expert von Sandrart 1675 – the mezzotint plates (allow for) about “50 or 60 clean impressions only. Afterwards, however, (the image) grinds off soon as it does not go deep into the copper”. Correspondingly then Thienemann 1856:

“ The mezzotints are almost not available on the market anymore … and (their) by far largest part … (I have) found (in the print room in Dresden) only. ”

Sheet 1 with faint tidemark in the left white lateral margin. Sheet 2 first with original fine diagonal box pleat from upper right till center, then later squeezes noticeable on the back which appear also on the front in the lower text field left and in the center, but neither the former nor the latter more considerably impairing the very fine picture impression. Light trace of dirt moreover in the right white lateral margin and on the back above.

Johann Elias Ridinger, Pursued Stags at Lake Walenstadt, Switzerland, IJohann Elias Ridinger, Pursued Stags at Lake Walenstadt, Switzerland, I

With captions :

“ (In the year 1687. this very great and strong mountain stag of 22. points, has been pursued according to the signs of the blood by 4. lynx for ¾ hours, finally below at the mountains

at the Lake of Wallenstadt (Lake Walen) ,

in Switzerland ,

thrown and strangled by them. and have both antlers weighed 34. pound.) ”


“ Venator cursu canis et latratibus instat … ” … 7 liner from Virgil, Æneis XII, 751. – The dramatic scenery very similar to the painting of the stag hunt in Petersburg with its even richer asset of hounds called in above (4 ft 10⅜ × 2 ft 9⅜ in [148.4 × 84.8 cm]).

Offer no. 14,663 | EUR 2200. | export price EUR 2090. (c. US$ 2527.) + shipping

“ Thanks a lot for your answer to my request, in such a short time and in such a detail! I’m pleasantly surprised with the fact that you presented me 3 different options! The 2 options … although very tempting (pricewise, extra prints etc) do not interest me, because of the condition of the prints. As a collector I wouldn’t like anything else but the best – the first option. To be absolutely honest with you, I expected the price to be high, but not so much … (It’s a) ‘Museum quality’ piece … Congratulations for the excellent pieces you offer !!! ”

(Mr. L. M., January 12, 2016)


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