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Johann Elias Ridinger, Alexander the Great's Siege of Halicarnassus

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Obsidio et expugnatio (see below) Halicarnassi, urbis totius cariæ capitis. / The Siege (and Conquest) of the Capital Halicarnassus by Alexander the Great. The battle turmoil – with boar hound chasing along just in front lower left above Ridinger’s inscription as such one also swims along on the 331 first Passage of the Tigris and on an Alexander drawing of 1723, for both see below, “Ridinger hounds” also guard the signature, while in the riding school from 1722 two boar hounds watch over the exercises of Th. 620 – according to the following caption in the first year of Alexander’s campaign, 334 BC, with Alexander on surely Bukephalos right in middle distance, giving orders to two warriors on foot. Engraving by Johann Daniel Herz I (1693 Augsburg 1754). Early 1720s. Inscribed: LXXXVII (platemark upper center) / Ioh. Elias Ridinger invent. et delin. (in the text margin lower left) / Senior Iohann Daniel Herz sculp et exc Aug. V. (in the subject margin lower right), otherwise in Latin-German as above and below. Sheet size 29¾ × 36⅛ in (75.5 × 91.8 cm).

Provenance: Th. Reich auf Biehla (?), his sale Leipsic 1894; Counts  Faber-Castell, their Ridinger sale 1958 with its lot no. 65 in red in the lower margin between the text columns.

Thienemann 917 + Supplement pp. 296 ff. ( “a  sheet  occurring  now  only  rarely ”, 1856! ); Schwarz 917 (recte state II of II instead of state I); Reich auf Biehla Collection 917 (“Without platemark, mounted [like here, too]. Fine composition.  Extremely rare”, 1894); Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900) 1488 (“Rare”).

Nagler, Ridinger, XIII, p. 162 ( “rich composition” ); Thieme-Becker XXVIII (1934), 308-311: VII. Miscellania: (Two) Battles of Alexander the Great.

Not  among the extensive Ridinger inventories at Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian Ridinger Collection at Boerner XXXIX (1885) , Coppenrath (1889/90) + Schwerdt (1928/35) , as then also here through the decades present for the first time.

Second state of the monumental sheet – pendant to the 331 Passage of the Tigris – after modification of the former inscription “Cum Privileg. Sac. Cæs. Majest. / Ioh. Daniel Hertz sculpsit / Hæred. Ieremiæ Wolffij excud. Aug. Vind.” as erroneously described as second state by Schwarz per 917a of marvelous printing condition of vibrant chiaroscuro with laterally tiny margin around the subject edge, below 3 mm below the text and at top 5 mm above the subject edge with the number not mentioned by Thienemann + Schwarz. – Old doubling with smoothening of former vertical centerfold and of ultimately very good general condition as not the norm with such difficult-to-preserve oversizes – the impression yet from but one ( sic ! ) plate ! – Illegible blind stamp between the two columns of the caption and aforementioned lot no. there in red. A small slight overinking at the left lower subject edge ending in one word each of the first two Latin text lines.

Early work of Ridinger’s created soon after his return – to be set not before 1719 – from the three-year stay with Baron (so Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie contrary to Kilian/Thienemann: Count) Metternich in Regensburg, when “all connoisseurs … admired his skill and strength in both historic and animal pieces” (Th.) while he nevertheless not yet worked in copper himself. So “at first there (he) painted several historical representations for the art dealer Dan. Herz” (Nagler; recte Jeremias Wolff, additionally documented for Herz, too, 1732 only, see below), of these concerning Alexander besides the present Siege of Halicarnassus the 331 Passage of the Tigris at Bedzabde (Th. 918) for the encounter with Darius (III, last of the Persian kings) with the decisive battle at Gaugamela near Arbela October 1st. Both qualified by Nagler, who erroneously claims the crossing for the Granicus, thus knew the sheet at least without its caption only, as “rich compositions”, they are at the same time marvelous examples of early maturity and perfection as already repeatedly stated by example of other early works.

Offer no. 14,869 / price on application