Johann Elias Ridinger, Francis of Assisi

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). S. Franciscus Seraphicus. Saint Francis of Assisi in three-quarter figure to the right, praying before opened book with inscription “DEUS MEUS ET OMNIA.”, death’s-head  + crucified seraph beside boulder overgrown with grass on top as attribute of the wilderness “as the effective ideal for saints doing peanance” (Nicole Hartje). The right of the folded hands with stigma. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iac. Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger exc. Aug. Vind. / S. | FRANCISCUS | SERAPHICUS. (in the upper loop of the otherwise empty mussel-shaped cartouche in the broad lower edge). 21½ × 16¾ in (54.6 × 42.5 cm).

Provenance: Counts Faber-Castell, their Ridinger sale 1958 with its lot no. 115 on the underlay carton; Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1922-2004).

Compare Thienemann 1288 (c. 20¾ × 15⅜ in [52.6 × 39.1 cm]; without the engraver’s signature of Johann Jacob and only “A. V.” instead of “Aug. Vind.”; not mentioned book inscription + rock staffage; cf. Schwarz 1543, however not identical with Schwarz 1288 just for the format) – Schwarz 1288 (24⅜ × 19½ in [61.8 × 49.5 cm]; without the book inscription, but with the boulder background; shortened signature as Th. 1288, its identity provisionally questioned by Schwarz) – Schwarz 1543 (22¼ × 16¼ in (56.4 × 41.2 cm]; with book inscription, but without the boulder, shortened signature as before, but “excud.” instead of only “exc.”).

Reich auf Biehla 250 ( “Extremely rare”, 1894 ! Without state detail + “Somewhat damaged.” ); Faber-Castell 115 (negligently as version Schwarz 1288). – As erroneously taking Thienemann + Schwarz 1288 for identical not in Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, I/1 (1975).

Not in Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57), Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX (1894); collections Coppenrath (1889 f.) + Hamminger (1895), Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900) + Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Undescribed  variant  to Th. 1288, Schwarz 1288 + 1543 of the fine large sheet of the founder of the Franciscan order (1182-1226) in heavy penitential robe the cowl turned back with clear reference to his vision of a crucified seraph who “impressed (on him) under burning pain Jesus’ stigmata from which he got the name of the seraphic father, his order that of the seraphic brothers.”

Present in very fine, highly nuanced impression. And the intellectual content of the physical message reflected by the chiaroscuro. – With WANGEN watermark along with secondary mark as standing for contemporary impressions. The surrounding margin unevenly trimmed between the short extreme of 1 mm and 15 mm with mostly 10-15 mm on three sides. Two longer and three short traces of tears, each only minute, professionally restored and therefore without noticeably impairing of the also with respect to preservation very fine general impression. Backed besides three tiny tears in the white margin. – Like all mezzotints very rare as according to the expert Sandrart (1675) the technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off mezzotint plate only permits 50-60 good impressions.

Offer no. 14,860 / price on application