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Acted as a Model

for the “Blue Rider” Franz Marc

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Pine Marten. A young one looking down from a branch to its mother bringing a bird. Etching with engraving. (1740.) Inscribed: J. E. R. fec. / N. 86., title in German as before. 7¼ × 5¾ in (18.5 × 14.6 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 476; Niemeyer, Ridinger Erlebnisse 1698-2020, 2021, p. 56. – Sheet 86 (in later edition 83) of the instructive set Design of Several Animals ( “These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Th. 1856). – Marvelous, wide-margined impression of the 1st edition and

Johann Elias Ridinger, Pine Marten

thematically set in context here for the first time

to Franz Marc’s painting “Playing Weasels”

of 1911, Hoberg-Jansen 144 with illustration.

As inspired by Ridinger known hitherto only Marc’s woodcut “Riding School after Ridinger” of 1913 (Lankheit 839) as detail interpretation of the background figure of the mounted rider of the third sheet, Th. 608, of the 1722 Riding School annotated by literature with

“ Illuminating that Marc with his quite intimate knowledge of art history

turns to just these masters of the depiction of the horse

(Delacroix and Ridinger) of the 19th and 18th centuries resp. as models ”

(Christian von Holst, Franz Marc – Pferde, 2003, pp. 166 ff. within [‘… the Hoofbeats of my Horses’]).

For already his painting “Playing Weasels” from 1911, preceded 1909/10 by the lithograph of the same name, betrays the knowledge of several Ridinger coppers from entirely different sets. Marc shows two weasels, of which the one in the tree, bowed over a bough, looks down upon the one sitting in raised attitude on the ground. The trees besides of an eccentricity which he uses in this ostensible density in the painted œuvre only in the two “Acts below Trees”, H.-J. 143, of the same year. For the thematic initial spark Ridinger’s “The Weasels”, Th. 479, as sheet 89 of the set here stands. Here, too, two of them playing, yet both on the ground and in an utterly different context. The latter Marc split up.

And took the attitude of the two animals

from the present sheet of the two pine martens

(additionally available here the companion piece with the two beech martens Th. 475 plus the original printing plates to both). The young one of which hangs across a bough of equally low height as with Marc and looks down at the mother standing on the hind paws against the trunk luring with a captured bird. “Playing Squirrels” as sheet 88 (Th. 478) shows the same situation, only with the difference of a further one in the tree, too, but keeping a little aloof and not involved in the play. Yet the bizarre tree – and as such Sälzle characterizes it expressly in the edition of the preparatory drawings for the following suite – as rather rarer for Ridinger, too, he took over from sheet 19 of the concurrent suite of the Representation of the Fair Game, the “Trace of a Marten / Trace of the Weasel” (Th. 181), with the same attitude of the marten in the tree and the, however, neutrally shown weasel on the ground.

Thus Marc designed his “Playing Weasels” just so by means of divers Ridinger references as the latter on his part composed his “Amusement of the Shepherds” after Watteau, Th.-Stillfried 1397, from four models of the Frenchman. That finally also the more typical trees of Ridinger’s were not unfamiliar to Marc, the right group of trees of his painterly forest interior “The Würm at Pipping” from 1902/03, H.-J. 15 with ills., demonstrates. But also the par force scenery on the watercolor “Ried Castle” from 1914 – Holst, ills. 11, p. 29 – stands as further example for Marc’s occupation with Ridinger,

which in this plurality has been missed till now .

Offer no. 7,332 | EUR 248. (c. US$ 254.) + shipping

A large selection of plates from this set available here


„ wenn ich recht verstanden habe, bieten Sie (Ridinger’s) 16 blättrige Par Force Jagdfolge … zum Verkauf an. Ich unterstelle die von Ihnen gewohnte ausgezeichnete Qualität der Blätter und nehme deshalb Ihr Angebot gerne an … Mit bestem Dank und freundlichen Grüßen verbleibe ich gerne in Vorfreude des Anblickes …

„ dankend bestätige ich den Erhalt Ihrer Sendung … werden eine Zierde sein in meiner jagdgetränkten neuen Heimat und mich so an die alte erinnern … Ich danke sehr … “

(Herr C. R., 28./29. Juni + 6. Juli 2020)

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