First described by Schwarz 1910

Mary with the Child Imperial

and here in undescribed even larger Variant

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Mary with the Child at the Ionic column. Half-length portrait. Looking up in rich robe supported by fine chiaroscuro with the child looking out of the picture in the right arm with the left one participating. Below ornamented cartouche in wide text margin with just the signature inscribed. Mezzotint by supposedly Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind. 25⅜ × 18⅞ in (64.6 × 48 cm).


Counts Faber-Castell

their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. 170
on the underlay carton

Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen


Cf. Schwarz 1521; Counts Faber-Castell (1958) 170 without identification as variant to Schwarz; Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940), no. 441.

Not in Thienemann (1856) , Stillfried (1876) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalog 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) .


“the woolly look directed upwards”

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mary with the Child at the Ionic Column

as still obliged to mannerism

(Monika Heffels in the attendant text to the 1976/77 exposition Netherlandish Graphic of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg)

Variant described here for the first time

to the with just 24⅝ × 17½ in (62.4 × 44.3 cm) smaller Schwarz copy which in addition bears the engraver’s signature of Johann Jacob in the lower margin left. That of Johann Elias, in conformity placed right outside, deviating in the abbreviation of the first Christian name limited to the “I.” in Schwarz. If and in case which of these two versions corresponds with the Rosenthal copy has to be left undecided for lack of specifications there beyond an “imp. fol.”.

With figurative watermark supposedly accompanied by letter (p?), conditionally following Heawood 3299 as standing for middle of the 18th century with fixed dates “After 1746, 1776, 1755, 1756”, here without the full word mark, however, and the box-shaped arrangement of grapes in two rows only compared with four there. – With margin running about of a scant 1 up to 1.5 cm wide. – Mounted on cloth for partial abrasions, perceptible with the unarmed eye here and there only and barely impairing the optical general impression, as not yet noted for the 1958 sale, causing slight pleats in the mostly unessential lower subject. – On the back presumably by hand of count Radulf in pencil

“ For the rarest Ridinger sheets ”.

Beyond proven rarity and moreover undescribed variant of preprogrammed scarcity 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 … ”

Not even there then

the present one as not just, overlapping generations, remained unknown to Thienemann + Stillfried, rather in this second state, now documented here for the first time, even still further decades later to Schwarz.

Offer no. 14,962 | EUR 970. | export price EUR 922. (c. US$ 1115.) + shipping

„ haben Sie vielen Dank für Ihre schnelle Antwort … Mit Ihrer Auskunft haben Sie uns bereits sehr geholfen und der Inhalt bezüglich einer eventuellen Neuauflage (ridinger schriften 25) klingt sehr gut … “

(L-Stiftung, 19. September 2018)


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