“ was doubtless a first-class talent ,
for not to say a man of genius ”
“ These sets
… document the paintings ”
Rugendas I, Georg Philipp (1666 Augsburg 1742). Horsemen, Cavalry Battles, and Camp Scenes from 1693 to 1705. 24 sets of 48 leaves (of 27 of 64 leaves in total). Engravings in chiaroscuro by Johann Christian Rugendas (1708 Augsburg 1781). C. 1740. Oblong fol. Contemporary half leather on 5 ribs with leather corners and marbled covers.
Teuscher 593-640 (of 589-652) with illustrations; Stillfried 529-576 (of 525-588). – Compare Nagler, Joh. Chr. Rugendas, 5-17. – publications of the ridinger gallery 7. – With engraved old armorial exlibris and that of the collection of Dr. Roederstein.
The 24 sets a-x (g = used twice; “AA” not present here placed before “a” by Teuscher and Stillfried neglecting the sequence of letter counting) complete within themselves and representing the father’s paintings. The 80 chiaroscuros Nagler counted and devided arbitrarily into 17 sets include also only drawings by the father.
The sets a-x here worked after the paintings and mostly one or two-leafed, but also of 4 (2) and 8 leaves. Those sets AA, y + z not present here documenting 4, 10 + 2 paintings resp. All with the signatures of father (incl. date, partly with the place of their origin) and son in the plate.
Printed on uniformly strong laid paper of 9½ × 14⅛ in (24 × 36 cm) the individual sizes of the engravings measure 4-8½ × 4⅛-12¾ in (10.2-21.7 × 10.5-32.4 cm) dominated by a medium size of c. 6¾ × 9½ in (17 × 24 cm). Corresponding hereto the differently wide margins, only one of the largest leaves has been trimmed 8 cm on platemark. – Nearly 5 cm of the margin of the first leaf renewed, the second leaf with a slight fold on the left in the lower picture.
Excellent collection of those works which document the ingenious founder of the Rugendas dynasty as
painter of horses
that incomparably. Specialized on his father’s works the second son Christian used
“ a special manner
to reproduce the ink drawings (here the paintings)
heightened with lights :
he printed from two (Cat. Augsburg 1998: three) plates ,
an ocher-like ground colour overprinted with dark brown
à la mezzotint ,
while using the paper for the white lights .
These (aquatint-)prints were called brightness and darkness ”
(or chiaroscuro, Schmidt in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie). This
“ counter effect of shadow and light in painting and engraving raised to the principle of the picture’s design … required a far-reaching giving up of locale tones
and sacrifices graphic sharpness
to the painterly charm in its real meaning
as it is created by the polarity of light and shadow in their gradations. The chiaroscuro painting starts with Correggio, is refined by Caravaggio and indirectly taken over from this by Rembrandt who has developed its outmost possibilities ”
Such a ne plus ultra of reproducing also here. The feverishly raised movements of the bodies passing over to the beholder in a degree as if he were amongst them, in brotherly keeping with their thoroughbred heads, too. Thus validly offering what Wilhelm Schmidt summed up already 125 years ago :
“ Doubtless (the elder Georg Philipp Rugendas) would have become an artist, who should have
outstripped all the other painters of horses and battles ,
if he would have lived under better circumstances, e.g. living in the Low Countries about 1650. ”
Thematically there are the horse battles and their more quiet surroundings before and after as
the quite essential former world of the horse ,
driving back the battle scenery itself but much more conveying the realization “that nowhere the scale of expression is fanned out broader than in the electric field between fear of death and joy of life” (Biedermann, Master Drawings of the German Baroque, no. 173) and then
excitingly disclosing the uniqueness of the horse .
Because nowhere else but in these borderline situations the possibility to design a quite unimaginable variety of movements. From quiet and sovereign up to the unbridled run-off of the horse that became riderless. Inbetween the wide range from natural dash and bridled bravery to which the most exciting race is just a boring event. The often large groups in the foreground echeloned down to just shadowish movements on the horizon. Accordingly the treatment of clouds and surroundings. How a theme artistically overwhelmingly has been worked here these chiaroscuro engravings by Johann Christian reflect adequately. Without them the great Georg Philipp would not have been so widespreadly celebrated. And
“ by the accurate representation of dates and places of the origins
(the chiaroscuros here form) an important basis
for the reconstruction of the work of Georg Philipp Rugendas the elder ”
And as many of the Dutch old masters always reused a marginal repoussoir so here again and again an ownerless helmet lies anywhere.
The print quality uniformly marvelous, partly still with much plate-dirt within the platemarks marking the early states and as desired by the collectors. The platemarks partly a little sharply impressed and providently reinforced in two cases of one corner and one side resp.
The condition equally hereto and to the provenance in general. Partly uniformly slightly browned, here and there also minimally foxed. The most of the leaves with a tidemark at the upper right of the margins or in cases of especially large engravings of those themselves, but only scarcely visible because of the tone of the chiaroscuros themselves. Three tiny repaired marginal defects, the binding a little rubbed. As a whole a thoroughly fine copy of these technically uniquely presented works of one of the
most fascinating designer of horses par excellence ,
and great son of his native town Augsburg. Where already in the next generation with Ridinger worked another true master of highest esteem though the relationship of teacher-pupil not grew beyond the mediation of the techinique of etching (Biedermann, op. cit., p. 338). Furthermore both they were directors of the academy there. And artistically
Offer no. 12,223 / price on application
„ das Blatt (Ridinger, Th. 288) ist heute wohlbehalten -perfekt verpackt- eingetroffen … “
(Herr K.-H. K., 3. Januar 2013)