Johann Elias Ridinger, St. Francis of Paula

The Founder of the “Minims”

as the “brown” Franciscans

who in the Age of Ridinger saw their Zenith

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). S. Franc. de Pavla Fvnd. Ord. Minimor. / Ordinavit in me Charitatem. Cant. 2. Cap. St. Francis of Paula, founder of the monastic order of Minims closely connected with the “grey” Franciscan friars, as half-length figure in brown habit to the left. Looking up trustingly, the right presses a sheet with the inscription CHARITAS against the chest while the left holds the knotty stick as symbol of the wandering mendicant. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. El. Ridinger exc. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above. 20¼ × 16⅝ in (51.6 × 42.3 cm).


Counts Faber-Castell

their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. 140
on the underlay carton

Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen


Thienemann-Stillfried (1876) 1416 ( “A very fine sheet” ); Counts Faber-Castell (1958) 140. – With Schwarz (1910) under same number with question mark affixed only one with 28¾ × 21⅞ in (73 × 55.7 cm) larger variant before the letter of the also there mussel plate of the wood emboss and an “excud.” contrary to present “exc.” corresponding with Stillfried, too (“With respect to the measures diverging from St. … hardly identical with 1416”).

Not in Thienemann (1856) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalog I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX (1885; the number 2029 there recte Th.-St. 1415) , Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.) , Reich auf Biehla (1894) , Gg. Hamminger (1895) , Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger; 1900) , Schwarz (1910; see above) , Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

With watermark WANGEN as standing for contemporary impressions. – Two sides with mostly 5 mm margin, below 2 cm, on the right fine little margin getting close to the platemark on 3 cm. Generally rubbed and slightly time-marked with three backed margin tears, one of which reaching into the subject for 5.5 cm. On the back tidemark at the upper and upper right lateral edge.

Even surpassing the Order of St. Francis in strictness the order of the Minims (Minimi fratres Eremitae) was founded by Franciscus de Paula (Paola, Calabria, 1416 – Plessis lès Tours 1507, his day is April 2) in 1435 and acknowledged as congregation by Sixtus IV in 1474.

“ The grant of all privileges of the mendicant orders … as well as the canonization of its founder (1519) contributed a lot to its spreading. In the middle of the 18th century (the order) had more than 450 monasteries with 25,000 religious in 31 provinces ”

(Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., XI, 660/1).

The rarity of present very beautiful motif – worked certainly in acquaintance with the oil by José de Ribera (about 1590 – Naples 1562) in the Vienna Belvedere Gallery etched/engraved by Anton Joseph von Prenner (Wallerstein 1683 – probably Vienna 1761) in 1728/32; compare also with the supposed Ribera picture in Petersburg Kagané (1997) 99 with illustrations – preprogrammed by the way as according to expert Sandrart (1675) the technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off mezzotint plate permits 50-60 good impressions only.

Correspondingly already in 1856 Thienemann, pages VIII & 270 :

“ 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 … ”

Offer no. 14,960 | EUR 930. | export price EUR 884. (c. US$ 1069.) + shipping

“ … and I wish to thank you for packing it so carefully … ”

(Mr. P. M., August 28, 2003)


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