Recte after Munich’s Court Painter F. J. Weiss ?

“ The Children of Israel still the Thirst from a Rock ”

as one of the Largest Sheets from Ridinger’s Publishing House

And here in Undescribed State

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767) or Weiss, Franz Joseph (Bergatreute/Wurttemberg 1699 – Munich 1770). Moses smites Water from the Rock (2nd Moses XVII, 6) or The Deliverance of the Children of Israel from dying with Thirst in the Desert. Full of the whole bounce of the incident, see below. Etching with engraving by Leonhard Michael Steinberger (supposedly Regensburg about 1713 – Augsburg 1772). Inscribed: below within the subject L. M. Steinberger sculpsit. / Ioh. Elias Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind. + per line of writing in German

“ Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come Water out of it, that the people may drink. In the JJ. Book Moses Chap. at XVJJ. v. VJ. ”

as well as cartouche text as below. 18⅞ × 28⅛ in (48 × 71.4 cm).

Generally not in Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, issues I-XXVIII (1838/57; c. 23000 sheet, among which more than 1000 of Ridinger’s œuvre).

ad Weiss :

Nagler, Weiss, XXI (1851), 258 f. (“Gottfr. Steinberg [sic!] engraved after him a sheet in oblong fol. …”) + XVII (1847), Gottfried Steinberg 2 (“… after F. J. Weiss”), in both instances referring to the Moses scene here and qualified as “main work”, as well as noting ibid. per present Leonhard Michael Steinberger that there might belong sheets to this which before he has “attributed” to Johann Christoph Steinberger in Regensburg. Thus to this and not for instance to Gottfried von Steinberg in Munich dealt with even more before. Nevertheless: his confusion with the Steinberger here is obvious and the conceded possibility of erroneous engraver attribution could also concern its design, here thus Weiss.

ad Ridinger :

Thienemann-Stillfried (1876) + Schwarz (1910) 1380, but both with only 17¾ × 27½ in (45 × 70 cm) deviating formatwise, as also Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik I/1 (1975) with source Stillfried. Unanimously Stillfried as Schwarz further “Siehe” (“Behold”) instead of “Sihe” here. On the other hand in the absence of complete rendering of the line at Schwarz Stillfried’s further deviations, that is “herauslaufen” + “das das Volk trinke” instead of “heraus lauffen” + “daß das Volk trincke”, shall remain just as unsettled here as probably rendered incorrectly as his lacking dots after JJ … Cap … XVJJ, however in the following such ones are present with him after “v.” + “VJ.”, too.

Schwarz furthermore with (erroneous?) additional “del.” before the excud. within the Ridinger inscription what if true would amount to three states.

Hamminger Collection, no. 1870 ( without details to the state, but “Very fine and very rare sheet”, 1895! ).

Not in the Silesian R. collection at Boerner (1885; “of greatest abundance … many rarities”) , the Coppenrath Collection (1889/90) , the R. collection at Wawra (1890; besides 234 drawings 600 prints) , the Reich auf Biehla Collection (1894; “Of all [R. collections] which [have been traded] since a long time not one can compare with the present one even remotely with respect to completeness and quality … especially the rarities and undescribed sheets which are represented in rich numbers”; 1266 sheet plus 470 duplicates + 20 drawings) , in the R. catalog Helbing (1900; 1554 nos.) , the Horn Collection (1903 acquired as a whole by Baron Gutmann; “With minor exceptions the engravings and mezzotints described by Thienemann and Stillfried were represented … almost completely. Besides … a number of hitherto not described sheets”) , the R. listing Rosenthal (1940; 444 nos.) , the Counts Faber-Castell Collection (1958; 106 drawings + 1160 prints).

While for the scientific exactness of the Schwarz catalog and especially considering one that dominant single item his quoted “del(ineavit)” = “has drawn” within the Ridinger inscription may be assumed as verified on the one hand, so yet

stylistic elements testify both for as against the hand of Ridinger as creator .

Thematically it would join convincingly his similarly important Drowning of Pharaoh in the Red Sea (2nd Moses XIV, 25-28; Th. 916), however, whose inscription “inv(enit) del(ineavit) et excud(it)” = has invented, drawn and (here) published positively identifies Ridinger as creator, which (likewise) he has not engraved himself though. For the latter the stepson Johann Gottfried Seutter signed, being born 1717 of about the same age as Steinberger and therefore making the publication of both sheet in also chronological unison appear plausible. For which a nearness to the Paradise set not finished before the end of the ’40s seems conceivable as its designs show dates between 1740 + 1747, but even still the 1754 one of the running rhinoceros Weigel/1869, pos. 708, known from literature only as possibly being in connection with its large depiction on sheet 8 of the set, Th. 814, could be referred to.

Known for the co-operation of Ridinger with Steinberger furthermore the Crucifixion Th. 914 (identical with the one mentioned by Nagler per Steinberger as after Le Brun/Benoit Audran? and in this respect Le Brun’s painting in Gareau, 1992, ills. p. 151?) + the Small Riding School after Parrocel Schwarz XXV.

For the richness of the sheet

Johann Elias Ridinger oder Franz Joseph Weiss, Moses smites Water from the Rock

Count Stillfried as its discoverer (1876) may be quoted :

“ The whole sheet is surrounded by a channeled frame which (already from the middle of the sides onwards) is ornate at the upper edge and entwined with a heavy garland of flowers and fruit (with again and again vine), extends into the branches of the 4 trees growing from the picture. The upper conclusion of the frame is formed by a curved shield carrying (in uppercase) the inscription:

Omnes eundem potum spiritualem biberunt, bibebant autem de spirituali consequente eos petra:
petra autem erat Christus. I. Chorinth. (here: Corinth.) X.IV.

Between the mentioned trees the rock is situated, shaped like a conic hill from which under the touch of the rod by Moses with glory standing on the right the source bubbles forth in cascades and flows on in a creek at the foot of the picture. Behind Moses Aaron stands, opposite to Moses on the left side of the hill a posse of armed men, several of which sounding the horn. Lower right and left in the most varied positions folks drinking desirously and gregarious animals, donkeys, sheep, and camels. ”

The quality of the impression determined by marvelous chiaroscuro

reflects the bounce of this downright unimaginable experience of survival .

The typographic watermark supposedly WANGEN together with countermark as standing for finest Ridinger qualities. Lateral margins 0.5 cm wide, above + below 1.5-2 cm. Three smoothed vertical folds, only the middle one of which perceptible with fine creasing particularly in the middle. The used white margins with numerous small and smallest tears backed acid-freely as well as also some longer ones, but in any case only reaching to the edge of the image the most. Marks which almost quite inevitably happen to come along with such formats. Here then, all in all, of only marginal kind, however. And no matter if to be attributed to Weiss or Ridinger we meet

a sheet of generally most extreme rarity of with respect to the state unique character ,

precious as the water in the desert. And irrespective of by hook or crook, for the collection of quality a high-carat desiderate as

one of the few true royal formats of the Ridinger publishing house .

Offer no. 28,897 | price on application

“ Thank you for your kind help with the Hogarth and for always pleasant correspondence ”

(Mrs. M. K., April 15, 2004)


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