art-historically important , warmly felt Sujet
of the Old Horse
as part of the second one of the suites after Roos,
belonging to the earliest works
now transferred to the copper-plate by Ridinger himself
Ridinger – Roos, Johann Heinrich (Otterberg, Palatinate, 1631 – Frankfort on the Main 1685). Animal Pieces. Set of 6 sheet. Etchings by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Between 1724 + 1728. Inscribed varyingly: Iohan Hein. Roos invent. et del. / Elias Ridinger sculpsit Aqua forti. 10½-10⅝ × 12⅛-12⅜ in (26.8-27 × 30.7-31.3 cm).
Thienemann + Schwarz (ills. I, p. 104) 797-802; Jedding, Roos, 1998, p. 169; Coppenrath part II, 1577 ( “Very rare set”, 1889 ! ); Reich auf Biehla 167, “Extremely rare”, 1894 ! ); Ridinger Catalogue Darmstadt, 1999, IV.10-15, fully illustrated. – In Weigel’s Art Stock Catalog, parts I-XXVIII (1840-1857) as the one and only the copy before any letter only, IX, 10322, of 1840. – Watermarked Crown + word mark.
The very fine copy of the collection “EK” with its small blue round monogram stamp (ligated, Lugt 3549, not identified, drawings and prints of the 17th to 19th centuries) on the back of these bewitchingly beautiful etchings marked with “Aqua forti”, at the same time the
with still partial light façette dirt,
absolutely untrimmed up to the intact deckle-edge
(top + bottom 7-7.5 cm wide-margined, laterally 10-10.5 cm), thus still with the two pinholes on the left from hanging up for drying! – Totally two/three acid-freely backed minitears in the outmost margin. Back of sheet 6 slightly age-spotted of which two spots and slightly larger light brown stains each shining through the right margin. Smoothed centerfolds.
In regard of the state with Hertel’s address “Iohann Georg Hertli excud. Aug. Vind.” (Thieme-Becker XVI, 552: progenitor of the Augsburg family of engravers, who later, after buying a part of J. Wolff’s publishing house, founded a publishing house himself; still lived about 1760) on the first sheet analogously to Thienemann + Schwarz. The rough classification of the states: before any address – Wolff Heirs – Hertel . – The plate numbering results in the sequence Th. 797 – 798 – 802 – 801 – 800 – 799 .
Among the sceneries of this suite that for Thienemann “turned out far better” compared with the first
so famous ones as the programmatic one of the group
art-historically important , warmly felt sujet
of the old horse ,
of which Brockes said one would look at it
“ Not with pleasure and yet with great pleasure ”.
Indirect model of this beautiful sheet is the drawing of the resting animals in rocky landscape with the standing old horse turned to the right by Johann Heinrich Roos (1631-1685) in Augsburg (inv. no. G. 1671; a further one under Z.419 in Coburg), published as no. 54 in the baroque catalogue of 1987, of which it is supposed that Ridinger owned it together with its pendant, the well-known Bull with the Bell also represented here (additionally available apart in the wonderful impression of the Frisch collection).
That 30 years later Ridinger, what has been missed in the Augsburg catalog, memorialized the sujet of present sheet Thienemann 488
– A Quite Old Jade –
once more with the same turn to the left, but now in a typical autonomous environment
– on a forest path in front of a suggestively mighty old tree
and disintegrating fence –
reminds of both Brockes’ aforesaid intellectual agitation and especially Roos’ model extending far into the time. Which in one further generation then also Joseph Georg Wintter followed 1783 by a drawing traded here together with its etching.
But the chain extends ahead of Roos himself, too. So the Roos catalog Kaiserslautern 1985 reminds of influences by Berchem and Dujardin while Nikulin in the 1987 Hermitage catalogue thinks of van Laer (1592/95-1642).
This in the context here therefore of particular interest as in recent time general Netherlandish influences have been claimed for Ridinger by several sides independent of each other which to follow already earlier literature encouraged.
In such a way the “Decrepit Old Horse” dominating the group here proves to be beyond its pictorial-mental charm
a highly interesting , demonstrative link
in chronologically both directions .
The composition of the set in detail regarding their numerical order as unbeknownst to Thienemann :
Animal Pieces. After Johann Heinrich Roos
The Bull with the Bell
Rock Landscape with Billy-goat, Sheep, and Lambs
Bull, Cow, Goat, Resting Sheep
A Saddled Ass and a Group of Sheep
Old Horse surrounded by Sheep, Goats etc.
1. Young shepherd and “eating goat with abundant udder” embedded in the title-decoration. – 2. The Bull with the Bell in community of a bleating goat + 4 sheep. – 3. The said old horse + one ox + goat each, 5 sheep. – 4. “A world-weary ass with saddle” + 7 sheep. – 5. The ruminating Bull together with cow, goat, 2 sheep + lamb. – 6. He-goat + she-goat, mother-sheep with suckling ewe-lamb, 5 further sheep.
On the general social classification of the set Stefan Morét says in the Darmstadt catalogue (p. 27) :
“ Also in the works of the Roos family the elaboration and impressive reproduction of the individual ‘character’ of the portrayed animals is a central intent. This it may have been what Ridinger caused to etch several (4 or 5 resp.) series after drawings of Johann Heinrich Roos at the outset of his career …
Supposedly Ridinger was interested in the exact and impressive portrayal of the characteristic qualities or tempers of the depicted animals of his model, thus the somewhat dull staring of the ox, the dozing of the sheep, the vigilance of the goat. In Ridinger’s set ‘Design of Several Animals’ published since 1738 one observes a quite similar interest for the ‘actions and passions’ of the animals that, however, is due to Ridinger’s natural scientific inclinations.
In the time of their coming into being the animal pieces in Italian landscape after Johann Heinrich Roos were interpreted as
alternatives to the bourgeois urban life .
Also in the 18th century they could be understood that way … . ”
And even in 1900 Helbing valued a brilliant copy of the set with 60 Goldmark equally to the suite of the Four Seasons of the Hunter or half of a fine copy of the 23-sheet set of the Fair Game and higher than the brilliant yet trimmed impressions of the Imperials Th. 67/68 (50 Goldmark).
Offer no. 28,485 / EUR 1750. / export price EUR 1663. (c. US$ 2010.) + shipping
„ herzlichen Dank für Ihre Expertise zu dem (Hogarth-)Kupferstich. Er ist wohlbehalten angekommen. Besten Dank für die schnelle Zusendung. Gruss aus … “
(Herr F. B., 1. März 2013)