Bergmüller, Georg Philipp Rugendas I
Georg Philipp Rugendas I (detail)

Superb  Aged  Face

Rugendas – Bergmüller, Johann Georg (Türkheim, Swabia, 1688 – Augsburg 1762). Georgivs Phillippvs Rvgendas Avgvstanvs (the Elder) … Large half length portrait medallion (9¼ × 7¼ in [23.5 × 18.5 cm]) of the master looking over his shoulder to the right (1666 Augsburg 1742, the latter in the inscription tablet erroneously as 1741) with palettelike inscription tablet left below of a painter putto with palette and brush in the extended left (Rugendas was lefthander), suggestively held by half length splendid dominating harnessed standard bearer, in his colors beside Augsburg’s cembra nut the imperial double eagle. In the right lower pendentive head & hand of an armored harness. The upper left pictorial scenery reminding of armed events painted by Rugendas, lead by mounted Kurucs – insurgents in the wake of the Ottoman Wars (1683/99) – wielding scimitars, in the distance general mêlée close to a church, not least in allusion to the siege & occupation of Augsburg (1703/04) during the War of the Spanish Succession prominent in the œuvre. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Haid (Kleineislingen 1704 – Augsburg 1767). After 1741. Inscribed: I. Iac. Haid ad vivum pinx. sculps. et excud. Aug. Vind. / I. G. Bergmüller invenit et delin, otherwise as above. 15⅞ × 10¾ in (40.3 × 27.3 cm).


Print Collection of the Royal Museums Berlin
with their oval arms stamp on the back (Lugt 1606)
along with repeated removal stamp
“A.III / Vom / K. Kupferstichkabinet / Berlin / veräussert”
(“Sold by the Royal Print Room Berlin”)

Bergmüller, Georg Philipp Rugendas I

The  marvelously  individual  portrait

– Thieme-Becker, Rugendas portraits c –

of  the  ingenious  horse  painter

“ without doubt a first-rank talent, not to say a genius. Doubtless, set into better circumstances, for instance living in the Low Countries about 1650, an artist … who

would  have  surpassed  all  his  horse  and  battle  piece  competitors ”

(Wilhelm Schmidt in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie XXIX [1889], page 600).

Le Blanc 95; Anke Ch. Held, Georg Philipp Rugendas … Gemälde und [selected] Zeichnungen, 1996, pp. 28 & 34; Rolf Biedermann, Die Kunst des Mezzotinto / Schaezlerpalais zeigt Arbeiten von Vater u. Sohn Haid, in Augsburger Allgemeine of Sep. 5, 1990, p. 11.

Splendid  velvety  brown  impression  of  contrasty  shine

with slightly agemarked margins 2-2.5 cm wide on three sides and 1.3 cm on the right of this quite rare sheet, in comparison to which the copy of the Prince Liechtenstein Collection known here as the last one on the market (2004) had a tiny margin below only, but was trimmed to platemark otherwise. – Watermark Crown below cross with typographic pendent.

Worked  in  equally  original  cooperation  Haid-Bergmüller

as already “the programmatic mezzotint” (Gode Krämer) of Johann Elias Ridinger (likewise available here) Le Blanc 94. Starting work is Haid’s painting of 1743 in Budapest, designed as memorial picture, for whose rendering in copper, executed again by Haid – this by the way not to be mixed with Rugendas’ neither related son-in-law Lorenz Haid – , Bergmüller made out the rich accessories.

“ It is one of numerous mezzotint portraits of Augsburg artists (Haid as)

in  this  field  leading  master  of  the  germanophone  art  sphere

designed together with Johann Georg Bergmüller. The latter in each case created the framing composition. As Catholic principal at the Augsburg Academy of Fine Arts Bergmüller was since 1730 Rugendas’ counterpart” as the since 1710 equal protestant founding director for life

(Anke Charlotte Held op. cit.).

Offer no. 16,220 / EUR  898. / export price EUR  853. (c. US$ 1031.) + shipping

„ vielen Dank für die prompte Lieferung! … Nach diesem Kupferstich (Hogarth, Sleeping Congregation) habe ich übrigens ziemlich lang gesucht – offenbar immer an der falschen Stelle – und bin jetzt außerordenlich froh, ein so unversehrtes Exemplar zu besitzen … Herzlichen Dank noch mal und freundliche Grüße “

(Herr C. K., 28. Juni 2012)