Johann Elias Ridinger, St Jerome

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Saint Jerome. The inspiration of the saint. Three-quarter figure as hermit to the right with bare chest at a table with two folios, the left holding a quill resting on the opened right one of which. Right beside the inkstand, left of the table crucifix leaning against large cardinal hat. The hat itself leaning against double bookshelf. On this folios,  hour-glass , death’s-head  + torture scourge of Christ’s. The saint himself looking towards the back upper left from where the trombone of the Last Judgement conveys inspiration to him. The lion looking sternly from below the table. The whole within a frame with floral corner pieces. Below concluding large mussel-shaped cartouche within broad inscription field for entries of individual kind which both have been left empty here as the norm for the preserved copies. Mezzotint. Inscribed: in the mussel-shaped cartouche set into the upper ledge of the frame S. HIERONYMUS. / right below between the frame’s ledge and inscription field Ioh. Elias Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind. 22¾ × 16⅝ in (57.8 × 42.3 cm).

Provenance: Counts Faber-Castell, their Ridinger sale 1958 with its lot no. 177 on the underlay carton; Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1922-2004).

Compare Schwarz 1549 (20⅛ × 15⅛ in [51.1 × 38.5 cm]; variant in writing: “Elias” abbreviated after “l”, otherwise see below); Faber-Castell 177 (negligently as Schwarz 1549); Wend, (Additions to the Definitive Catalogues of Prints), I/1 (1975), 230 (as Schwarz).

Neither Schwarz 1549 nor even the sheet here in Thienemann (1856) , Stillfried (1876) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian Ridinger Collection at Boerner XXXIX (1885) , collections Coppenrath (1889 f.) , Reich auf Biehla (1894) + Hamminger (1895) , Helbing XXXIV (Works by J. E. and M. E. Ridinger; 1900) + Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940).

Enlarged + reversed  copy  of  Schwarz  1549  not  known  to  literature  on toned laid paper with watermark fleur-de-lis, probably contemporary, but also rather later. Noticeable that the enlarged format orients by other sheets of saints by Ridinger as e.g. the cardinal Jerome mezzotinted by Johann Jacob after Alessandro Marchesini (Schwarz 1548). – Marvelous deep-brown impression with margins of 1.5-2 cm running around of perfect preservation with partial minimal touch of tiny foxing spots, three little rust spots feebly showing through from the back, and four small to tiny holes backed by old at the upper margin of the subject, reverse lower left remains of mounting, as nothing to reckoned at all. – On the underlay carton besides Castell’s reference to Gutmann (Schwarz) still another inscription by a different hand. The sheet seems to have been acquired in the English trade.

Interesting present consideration of all attributes of St. Jerome as the oversized cardinal hat joins the hermit and the lion the death’s-head. Rather it is hermit  or cardinal + lion  or death’s-head as then also in Ridinger’s representation of the Marchesini painting above as cardinal and just with the lion whom Jerome once should have relieved of a thorn in the paw.

Offer no. 14,865 / price on application