Patron  also  against  Eye-Disease

with  Ridinger

in  the  Copy  Counts  Faber-Castell

Ridinger, Johann Jacob (1736 Augsburg 1784). Saint Jerome. The inspiration of the saint. In full figure as cardinal, preciously dressed, with aureole, sitting to the left at a little table, but the head turned to the right and looking laterally to the ground to receive his inspiration by the angel standing behind his seat. This just came forth from the heavy curtain – standing for the curtain of life, since the middle-ages then also symbol of the mysterious – still held back by the raised left. The right of the saint holds a quill in interruption of writing in the folio resting on his right leg. On the little table beside cardinal hat + inkstand scourge as instrument of torture of Christ’s. Left at his feet the front of the peacefully resting lion. Mezzotint after Alessandro Marchesini (1664 Verona 1738, active in Verona, Venice, Padua). Inscribed: Marchesini pinxit a Venetia. / Ioh. Iac. Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. Elias Ridinger exc. A. V., otherwise in the upper cavity of the mussel-shaped cartouche S. | HIERONYMUS. Subject size 21⅞ × 16¾ in (55.7 × 42.5 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, St Jerome


Counts Faber-Castell

their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. 176
on the underlay carton

Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen


Schwarz 1548 (variant in writing: “Iacob” + “I. El. … excud.”); Faber-Castell 176 (without mentioning of the variant as against Schwarz); Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975), 229 (variant in writing: “Iac.” as here, otherwise as Schwarz).

Not in Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian R. coll. at Boerner XXXIX (1885) , collections Coppenrath (1889 f.) , Reich auf Biehla (1894) + Hamminger (1895) , Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger; 1900) + Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

The  great  elegant , exceedingly  sympathetic  sujet  –

compositional  pendant  to  Saint  Ambrose  as  also  associated  with  Treves

after  Marchesini  likewise ,

– in very fine impression of rich contrast with variant in writing, otherwise with WANGEN watermark as standing for contemporary impressions, below, however, and parallel to the Ambrose sheet, trimmed under loss of 2 cm within the inscription field with mussel-shaped cartouche reserved for entries of individual kind, though usually left empty in the preserved copies and here therefore obviously deemed dispensable for the picture. The otherwise tiny(est) margin running around on three sides partly cracky on two sides, here and there up to the edge of the subject. In the subject itself – numbered in its right upper corner with red chalk pen “80.” – some folds + little pleats, under passepartout at the latest of definitely pleasing general impression, not least with respect to the rarity of these sheets as then already 1839 those by Ridinger after Marchesini remained unknown to Nagler (VIII, 304). Accordingly then Thienemann 1856 generally:

“ The  mezzotints  are  almost  not  available  in  the  trade  anymore

… all worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger (are) that rare that they are to be found almost only in some public, grand print rooms. I have come across most of the described ones only in the famous print room at Dresden … ”

(pages VIII & 270).

A situation also possible new editions could change little as according to the expert Sandrart (1675) the technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off mezzotint plate only permits 50-60 good impressions.

Here  then  the  copy  Counts  Faber-Castell

with a quite human charming sujet from the core of ecclesiastical history to whose most prominent doctors Jerome (Stridon/Sdrin, Croatia, about 340/42 – Bethlehem 420 [419?]) loaded with a youthful past reckons.

“ … he (is) not only the most scholarly, but also the most eloquent among the Western Doctors … (and) in his biographies of St. Paul, Hilary, Malchus (he has)

right  actually  invented  the  pious  novel ”

(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VIII [1888], 524.).

In his early years “he  stayed  for  some  time  at  Treves in whose famous schools he continued his studies and got acquainted to monastic life. His episcopal chirotony is reported in the legends of the 15th century as dignity of Cardinal referred to here by the cardinal hat. Then he played

“ a special role in the Catholic reform politics after the Council of Trient (1545/63) and may have been a lifelong standard and example (for instance) for Köln as scholar, penitent, and first cardinal ”

(Ekkehard Mai in the Montreal/Cologneer Richelieu catalog, 2002, page 157).

In 386 he had taken his permanent residence in Bethlehem where he founded a monastery and nunneries.

„ Here H. gave the first example of a monkhood that makes the cultivation of sciences and literature its chief duty. He (translated, having command of seven languages, essential parts of the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin [Vulgata],) wrote quite a number of commentaries on Old and New Testament, valuable publications of archeological content, legends of saints and monks … ”

(Meyers op. cit.).

So he became, in his ranking likely compared with Augustine,

patron  of  scientific  associations ,

of teachers, students + pupils, of the theological faculties + Bible societies, but

also  against  eye-diseases ,

furthermore of Dalmatia + Lyon. September 30 as his dying day is considered his memorial day by Christian religions, for the Orthodox it is June 15.

This purpose of life and its standing is reflected by the present sheet just as by the lion belonging inseparably to him, whom he once should have relieved of a thorn from his paw. The latter as well as also the legend he would have been cardinal as taken over into the legendaries of the XVth century, too, commented by newer literature as following:

“ The legend he had been cardinal and during a lecture before his pupils in Bethlehem a hobbling lion would have approached him came into being only in the 13th century. The ecclesiastical jurist Joannes Andreas from Bologna (about 1330-48) used this to propagate the function of a cardinal as well as the lion as firm attributes of the Hieronymus ”

(Dirk De Vos, Rogier van der Weyden, Munich 1999, p. 405).

For the lion-immortalizing Ridingers the lion attribute was a dainty addition anyway in their work of saints widely quite unjustly carped at.

Offer no. 14,866 / EUR  790. / export price EUR  751. (c. US$ 908.) + shipping

“ The prints arrived safely. What is your return policy? My boss, doesn’t like the images, which I understand is subjective (– probably in reaction on the 11th September –) and no reflection on the condition or any representations you made. Sorry to bother you with this ”

(Mrs. A. P., September 26, 2001)


The  Cream  of  the  Day