“ One of the most distinguished Fathers of the Church ”


One of the Greatest Sons of Treves

With Ridinger

in the Copy Counts Faber-Castell

Ridinger, Johann Jacob (1736 Augsburg 1784). Saint Ambrose. Preciously dressed in full figure, sitting to the right with the head turned to the left, the left resting on an opened book. Laterally left angel with crosier + tiara. Closed folio at his feet. Mezzotint after Alessandro Marchesini (1664 Verona 1738, active in Verona, Venice, Padua). Inscribed: Marchesin pinxit a Venetia. / Ioh. Iacob Ridinger sc. / Ioh. El. Ridinger exc. A. V., otherwise in the upper cavity of the mussel-shaped cartouche S. | AMBROSIUS. 21 in (53.2 cm) sheet height × 16¼ in (41.3 cm) width platemark.

Johann Elias Ridinger, St Ambrose


Counts Faber-Castell

their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. 171
on the underlay carton

Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen


Schwarz 1532; Faber-Castell 171; Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975), 206.

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

The great elegant sujet –

compositional pendant to St. Hieronymus as also associated with Treves

after Marchesini likewise ,

– in very fine impression of rich contrast with watermark WANGEN as standing for contemporary impressions, below, however, and parallel to the Hieronymus sheet, trimmed under loss of 3.8 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, otherwise fine margin of 2-3 mm running around on three sides. In the subject itself – numbered in its right upper corner with red chalk pen “75” – some folds + little pleats. Some few marginal tears, the longest of which reaching 4 cm into the filling of the picture. Of the slight foxing spots on the back isolated ones showing through to the subject. Irrespective of this 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:

“ famous Doctor of the Church, born about 340 at Treves as son of a Roman Prefectus Pretorio (Galliarum as one ‘of the highest of Roman public offices’), was administrator in Rome until the governorship of Upper Italy was conferred on him. Though not yet baptized he had to accept the election for bishop of Milan in 374 … his differentiation of the general and the perfect duties, among which he e.g. reckoned celibacy, is of influence … by his choral poetry he became

the father of Latin hymnology ”

(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., I (1889), 449 f.).

Died April 4, 397, and – so the Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (Bautz Verlag, 2002, with besides “about 333, probably also only 340”, another source deems 339 as possible, as year of birth) continuing –

“ the first (of the) four great Doctors of the (Catholic) Church ,

the most important

occidental prelate and preacher of the 4th century “,

descending from one “of the oldest noble families of Rome”.

Offer no. 14,867 | EUR 685. | export price EUR 651. (c. US$ 787.) + shipping

„ das ‚Haupt-Schwein‘ ist gut … angekommen und gefällt … falls sich weitere Funde … auftun, freue ich mich über Ihre Nachricht “

(Herr W. S., 29. August 2002)


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