Les Amours pastorales
A Ridinger Trouvaille after François Boucher
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Happy Shepherds’ Life. / Vita pastoritia felix. The languishing shepherd-gallant at the feet of his yet very superior shepherdess and pointing at the grapes brought along for her. On the left before a cabin a shephard leaning onto the back of a bull, all around sheep and at the feet of his master the hound. Mezzotint after François Boucher (1703 Paris 1770). Inscribed: J. E. Ridinger exc. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above. 16¾ × 21 in (42.5 × 53.4 cm).
Th.-Stillfried & Schwarz 1400; Reich auf Biehla Collection 286 (“Somewhat waterstained … With wide margin. Of greatest rarity”, 1894); Ridinger Cat. Helbing (1900) 1537.
Not in Thienemann (1856) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian Ridinger Collection at Boerner (1885) , Coppenrath Collection (1889/90) , R. collection at Wawra (1890) , Hamminger Collection (1895) , R. list Rosenthal (1940).
Bipartite WANGEN watermark. – With quatrain in German-Latin parallel text:
“ Dispise this field, and this innocent life,
Confused haughtiness! not, it knows to give you that,
What your eccentric splendour could never give you,
The innocence’s fatherland, the virtue’s clean course. ”
Wonderful large sheet
in reverse after Claude-Augustin Duflos’ (1700 Paris 1786) Ne plaignons point le sort de ces bergers from his with but 11 × 12⅝ in (28 × 32 cm) considerably smaller-sized four-sheet series Les amours pastorales after Boucher (“Main master of rococo”, Jahn).
Established only by Stillfried’s third appendix to Thienemann of 1876 and as all of Ridinger’s mezzotints very rare. The ones mentioned in literature aside, known here only the copy Counts Faber-Castell (1958) and a further one, if not the same, from the early 1960s.
However , not identical with the latter
as evidenced by several deviations in various details .
Of greatest rareness as the precious art of mezzotint only allows editions of about “50 or 60 clean copies, afterwards (the image) grinds itself off very soon” (Sandrart 1675). Accordingly Thienemann noted in 1856:
“ The mezzotints are almost not available on the market anymore …
“ By the way all mezzotints worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger are that rare that they are to be found almost only in some of the magnificent public print rooms. I met most of the described ones only in the famous Cabinet in Dresden …”
The whole delicacy of the mezzotint technique —
here you have it .
That in the case here as outstanding additional factor of rareness truly superbly wide margins of 9.7-10.3 on the sides and 4.5 and 5.6 cm resp. on top and bottom are added, is then just the last ne plus ultra delighting the pretentious collector. Here thus
the rarity as such — the significantly deviating early impression —
wonderful chiaroscuro & enormous margins .
On the left the frequently occuring little pinholes of the original stitching, above and below equally tiny further ones together with pressure points of thumb-tacks. The lower margin minimally fissured. On the back slightly visible centerfold.
By a “very wide margin” excelled by the way in 1900 the copy of Helbing, valued with 70 gold marks as more than half ( sic! ) of what he rated a very fine copy of the 23-sheet set ( sic! ) of the Fair Game – 130 gold marks.
Offer no. 28,106 | EUR 1380. | export price EUR 1311. (c. US$ 1585.) + shipping
„ Vielen Dank, der Stich (Ridinger, Th. 288) ist gestern schon angekommen … Ich habe es schon ausgepackt … und mich sehr gefreut. Herzliche Grüße “
(Herr S. J., 4. Januar 2012)