The Battenberg Art Historian
Eger, Georg Adam (1727 Murrhardt 1808). This Stag, which His High Princely Serenity the Ruling Sir Landgrave LOUIS VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt had been led out of Battenberg in Upper Hesse in the year 1763 and brought into the great Pheasantry at Cranichstein, which afterwards in the year 1765 had become known for splendid antlers of 32 Points, has set up the following 1766th year the same number of points again, as such has been drawn from nature, represented here. Etching with engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Rolled-on photograph by Johann Laifle (ascertainable as active Regensburg 1865 – about 1900). (1865.) Inscribed: G. A. Eger delineav. et pinxit. / M. El. Ridinger sculps. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as above & on the mounting carton: 30. / Photographirt von J. Laifle. / Verlag von A. Coppenrath in Regensburg. Size of photo 6¾ × 4¾ in (17 × 12 cm), of carton 13 × 10⅛ in (32.9 × 25.7 cm).
“ Depicted the supposedly best-known stag of the hunting château Kranichstein …
The Battenberg stag has found his way into art history .
He has been painted several times by the Darmstadt court hunting painter Georg Adam Eger and his pupils. From one of Eger’s pictures Martin Elias Ridinger has produced the reproduced engraving. From another painting of Eger’s the stag was likewise engraved in copper by H. P. Boßler of Darmstadt. The cabinet medalist Conrad Heinrich Küchler has crafted one of the finest Hesse-Darmstadt hunt medals with the image of this stag. Not far from the forester’s lodge Elbringhausen there still today is a hewn sandstone remembering the capture of the stag ”
(Siebert-Weitz). – Sheet 30 of the 50-sheet Laifle set published in 5 numbers as plate 98 of the Most Wondrous Deer, Thienemann 340. The bibliographical literature only records the 1st number of the album. – Kölsch, Georg Adam Eger (1727-1808) Jagdmaler am Hessen-Darmstädter Hof, 2010, cat. nos. 33 & 32 with illustrations; Siebert & Weitz, Ridinger – Bilder zur Jagd in Hessen-Darmstadt, 1999, pages 46 f. with ill. – On paper coated with the white of egg, that is
albumen print “ of high gloss … (which) renders the most minute details ”
(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., XIII , page 17, yet recording it as standard a quarter of a century later only). This in contrast to the previously common papers coated with starch, hence resulting in a dull image effect, which consequently could not meet the standards of the great Ridinger collector Coppenrath. And Danuta Thiel-Melerski 2006:
“ The first photographs on albumen paper were so thin
one had to glue them onto cardboard ”
As here then, too. By Johann Laifle’s “Photographic Institute for Portraits and Landscapes” at Klarenanger No. 2 in Regensburg. His Ridinger Album. A Collection of the Finest and Rarest Deer and Roebuck Abnormities photographed from the Original Engravings – complete showcase copy available here – supposedly representing both Laifle’s earliest group of works as also
the earliest Ridinger photographicum
in general. In short ,
the youthful photography is enthusiastic about Ridinger
and therewith bestows a collection enrichment of the most charming kind . Up to the spot on the wall !
Of significantly more comprehensive sets announced by two competitors between 1867 and 1873/75 nevertheless 24 and 48 sheet resp. seem to have been realized only and therefore take second place to Coppenrath’s pioneer edition not just chronologically. In such a manner Laifle & Coppenrath not only were the first to pay their photographic reverence to Ridinger, rather this even in virtually chronological setting as
incunabula of photography !
Laifle’s late period documented here besides by a “Portrait Postcard System Laifle.” from 1899, by which individual portrait photographs were applied to Laifle’s landscape postcards. Laifle won medals at the World Exposition Vienna 1873 & 1876 in Munich.
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