Patroness  of  Philosophers

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). S Catharina. Half-length portrait of St Catherine of Alexandria frontally to the right in the glory with pearls + diadem, the palm leaf of the martyrs in the raised left and the right resting on the sword grip as symbol of her dying. Behind her the broken wheel. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. Elias Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise, in large shell cartouche in the lower margin, as above. 22½ × 16¼ in (57 × 41.2 cm).

Schwarz 1554 with illustration; Counts Faber-Castell (1958) 178 (see below).

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), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Per corner mounting by old hand laid on heavy hand-made paper slightly browned at two outer margins. – On the right with tiny paper margin, below mostly the same, top + left trimmed on platemark almost throughout. Little worm trace in the free outer field top right.

Johann Elias Ridinger, St Catharine

The  excellent  copy  in  regard  of  printing  and  conservation

of a cultivated collection of perfectly bright chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a manner of quite extraordinary rarity not only on the market as quoted above, but in general, too. Already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart numbered “clean prints” of the velvety mezzotint manner at only c. “50 or 60” (!). “Soon after (the picture) grinds off for it not goes deeply into the copper.” Correspondingly Thienemann in 1856 :

“ The mezzotints are almost not to be acquired on the market anymore …
and the by far largest part (of them) … (I have) only found (in the printroom) at Dresden. ”

Not even there then the one here which subsequently remained unknown to Count Stillfried 20 years later, too!

The  also  pictorially  timelessly  sympathetic  representation  of  that  scholar

of the legend brought to Europe by the crusaders, who, of Cypriot-princely blood, excelled by her intelligence the 50 pagan philosophers summoned up by Emperor Maxentius, and instead converted them to Christianity. With the result of her being sentenced to death by the wheel. Which then broke. So that she was beheaded in 307 A.D. November 25 is dedicated to her churchly commemoration. But throughout the year she is adored by “the philosophers and learned schools as patroness” (Meyers Konvers.-Lex., 4th ed., IX, 611).

While quite topically though “already since some time (the) historians (have) rediscovered … (and) scientifically reanimated” her as a member of that “exclusive company of divine intervenients – or, stated Protestantly, divine representatives – ” (Peter Burschel reviewing Brad Stephan Gregory’s Salvation at Stake — Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Aug. 2, 2000).

Offer no. 28,401 / EUR  1892. / export price EUR  1797. (c. US$ 2172.) + shipping

– – – – The same in the copy of Counts Faber-Castell with their 1958 sale’s lot number 178 on the underlay carton. 22⅛ × 16 in (56.2 × 40.8 cm).

The quite special copy with follow-up provenance Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1922-2004), from whose deep black filling space the saint shines out in her plasticity of chiaroscuro translated unapproachably. – With typographic watermark (WANGEN?). – With 2 cm wide margin all-round in which a tear is repaired acid-freely and which has three small joined spots outside left. – Small rubbing off like a thick pinhead outside right of the glory, slight glue trace in the lateral right filling space. Glue traces and black stipples rubbed off besides throughout on the back, both not very moving.

Offer no. 14,965 / EUR  1980. / export price EUR  1881. (c. US$ 2274.) + shipping

“ The prints arrived today in great condition! I couldn’t be happier with the purchase. Thank you so much for working with me … ”

(Mr. M. C., September 25, 2014)


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