Of Greatest Beauty
in the hitherto Unknown Second State
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Pastor bonus. Christ as Good Shepherd with crook, surrounded by four sheep, in rocky landscape. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iacob Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger del. A. V., otherwise as above. 19⅞ × 14½ in (50.5 × 36.9 cm).
their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. 108
on the underlay carton
Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen
Thienemann + Schwarz 1270 (cf. Schwarz II, pl. XLI as “Variant”, recte first state, 1488); Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1998 ( “Very rare”, 1885 ! ); Reich auf Biehla ( “Rare”, 1894 ); Gräflich Faber-Castell (1958) 108. – Boerner + Biehla without state detail.
Not in Weigel, Art Stock Catalog I-XXVIII (1838/57; there only per 18,543 a Pastor bonus in octavo) , Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.) , Hamminger Collection (1895) , Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger; 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940) .
The pictorially tremendously sympathetic sujet
in a marvelous copy of vibrant chiaroscuro
as hitherto not recognized second state
with otherwise minimal deviations distinguishable by the stylistically refined cartouche in the lower, otherwise empty, text field, as routine faux pas expressly regarded by Schwarz as Baroque cartouche as with its mussel decoration and the curved lateral guidance with ornamental foot actually correct for 1488 only. Present one, however, with exception of the lateral, though likewise simplified vine-leafs stripped of any decoration and also laterally closed plain-austerely. In the lower margin of it the upper delineation of the lower of the two previous mussels still tenderly visible.
With WANGEN watermark as standing for old impressions and with margins of 3-5.5 cm on all sides with partially still slight plate dirt in the lateral and lower platemark. The utterly smoothed out former centerfold not perceptible from front. Acid-freely backed small tear in the white right lateral margin.
“ 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 … ”
(Thienemann, 1856, 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. ”Afterwards (the picture) soon grinds off“.
Correspondingly rare then, too, both present Th./Schwarz 1270 as also Schwarz 1488, of the latter a copy is traced here in the trade of the ’80s. As “Rare” already 1850 Weigel lists per 18543 a Pastor bonus in full figure (together with St. John Baptist + St. Joseph), but as octavo not identical with the present one. If that refers to the compositionally entirely different Th./Schwarz 1322 – Christ enthroned on clouds, the right foot on the skull of the dragon – must be left undecided as both do not give the format.
Here then the wonderful copy Counts Faber-Castell
of Thienemann/Schwarz 1270 .
Offer no. 14,876 / EUR 1995. / export price EUR 1895. (c. US$ 2291.) + shipping
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(Herr W. S., 16. Februar 2009)