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Johann Elias Ridinger, The Mindless Age becomes Contemptuous by Childish Expression

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Mindless Age becomes Contemptuous by Childish Expression. Elected for his large beard by the animals as their representative the billy-goat behaves himself so foppish over this that he “provokes partly guffaw, partly annoyance. This the artist shows excellently. The badger is rolling with laughter, the stag, the horse, the fox laugh scornfully, the tiger, the striped hyena, and the lynx in earnest become aware of the foolishness of their choice and revoke it. The monkey though points his fingers at him” (Th.). Etching and engraving. (1744.) Inscribed: J. El. Ridinger inv. et fec. et exc., title in German-Latin-French as above. 13⅛ × 9¾ in (33.3 × 24.7 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 773; Ridinger Cat. Darmstadt IV.8 with ills.; Metzner-Raabe, Illustr. Fabelbuch, 1998, vol. II (Bodemann), 123.I. – Sheet 9 of the intellectually as optically exceedingly charming “Instructive Fables from the Animal Kingdom for Improvement of the Manners and especially for Instruction of the Youth”.

Fleur-de-lis watermark. – In the second half of the 19th century mounted on blue-grey laid paper of the early 18th century with watermark SICKTE (the von Veltheim paper mill there) together with Jumping Horse Heawood 2790 (Germany 18th Cent. Esp. in Doppelmayr, Sonnen-Uhren, Nuremberg 1719) on which it is laid on loosely now. – Trimmed on three sides on the edge of the wide white plate margin. – Wonderful early impression.

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More plates from the Fables set :

The Fable belongs to the Artist as to the Poet,
and one lighted the other’s Light