Augsburg Baby Feeding

Outwardly harmless-charming Genre – Underlaid by Symbols of Vanity

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Neglected Household. On the left the boy fallen asleep over his food on the inclined table with the cat lapping up his mush, while the nurse cares for the baby on the right. Also in sloping position the coffee-pot on the shelf. Tome, flute + die as additional vanities. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iacob Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise as below. 15¾ × 17⅞ in (40 × 45.3 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, The Neglected Household

Schwarz 1473 + plate II, XXXII; Mörgeli + Wunderlich, Über dem Grabe geboren – Kindsnöte in Medizin und Kunst (to the exhibition of the same name in the Medical-Historical Museum of the Zurich University), 2002, within (Baby Feeding), p. 196 with ills. – Not in Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876) and with the exception of Baron Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) + Counts Faber-Castell (1958) here not proven elsewhere.

Per corner mounting by old hand laid on particularly wide-margined heavy laid paper slightly browned at two outer margins. – On the right throughout, below partly with tiny paper margin, otherwise mostly trimmed to platemark. – With German-Latin quatrain:

The big boy sleeps. The nurse cleans the child.
The cat eats the mush as they are careless.
If one not always cares for one’s things;
So someone else will take advantage of this soon.

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! Here now presented for the first time beyond its just outward “household” aspect as

a further one of those subtle works ,

showing the “Minimized Ridinger” (Niemeyer) as a master of vanity, too.

Offer no. 28,409 | EUR 1994. | export price EUR 1894. (c. US$ 2290.) + shipping

“ I am writing to you to have suggestion from you, the specialist of J.E.Ridinger. I am an art historian … ”


“ Thank you very much for quick response. Your suggestion is so helpful and can correct many erroneous captions which have been attached to the Ridinger’s prints in Japan until now … ”

(Ms. Y. K.-S., 19 + 22 December 2009)


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