Show-Piece of a Great Rarity of Natural History
and additionally grangerized with a Vanity Symbol of Degree
Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). This Stag of 14 Points and still an End under the Rose with only 3 Legs had been hunted near Meiches in 1748 by Landgrave Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt after it had been seen in such a way a whole year long … How it may had happened and how the creature may had cured itself … what human may be able to heal himself suchlike. / Ditto this fawn with three legs by nature and only the trace of a claw at the thorax had been hunted at Geißlingen (between Stuttgart + Ulm) in 1739 by Martin Bückle, forest ranger at Amstetten. Furthermore there is a second calf with lamed forelegs. All in an extensive park in front of a plateau with stoop and large fountain. But right in front a lying vase
“ whose lower part is broken .
It has no stem , too , on which it can stand ”
(Wolfgang Weitz, Der Hirsch mit 3 Läufen aus Meiches in Aus der Jagdgeschichte des Vogelsberges, Museum Hunting Seat Kranichstein, 2006, p. 21). Etching with engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: M. E. Ridinger sculps. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as abridged before and, for his father’s “signature”, below. 14 × 10½ in (35.7 × 26.8 cm).
The most seldom sheet XIII
(“When in 1999 I have presented together with Mrs. Gisela Siebert D. Ph. the work ‘Ridinger, [Pictures for the Hunt in Hesse-Darmstadt]’ all relevant engravings of the Ridinger family actually should have been dealt with. Nevertheless it lacked one engraving [Siebert-Weitz p. 21], namely the one on which three pieces red deer are reproduced: A Stag with 3 Legs, a Fawn with three Legs, and a further calf … In the meantime the sheet could be acquired [in this place] by myself. Now its commentary can be made good”, Weitz, op. cit., p. 18; bold types not in the original)
(Thienemann + Schwarz 356; Ridinger Catalogue Darmstadt, 1999, V.21; Weitz, op. cit., pp. 18 ff.; the latter two respective with ills.) of the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt – “the rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings” (Schwerdt) 1928 – , worked into the copper exclusively by Johann Elias’ eldest, Martin Elias, after widely his father’s designs from especially 1752/53 (so Schwarz by the drawing dates of the set) and completed in 1779, in which “in addition to truly ’special events’
also depictions of zoological peculiarities
analogous to the ‘Wondrous Stags’” (Stefan Morét in Catalogue Darmstadt, p. 113).
The field-names of the surroundings of Meiches mentioned in the caption as so not existing obviously given back faulty by Ridinger.
For the theme itself the following observation from more recent time may be useful :
“ (In the Funtenlake area was a chamois buck who lacked the foreleg. This 3-leg buck was the chief buck during a whole rutting season. In the next rutting season he was not seen generally. But in the year after next he stood at the same rutting place again and in spite of his three legs he chased away all stronger rivals with such rigor, that none could dispute to him the range as place buck … One could see how most energetic will and resoluteness can compensate for disability [Thomas Mann once titled a foreword to a respective publication with “Throw Away your Crutches”]. In the same year then the deadly bullet struck the heroic buck “
(Hans Fuschlberger, [The Chamois Book], Munich 1939, p. 123, paragraph 1 quoting Hauber, [The Chamois Game], without bibliographical notes).
Beyond this as analogous to the happenings
the broken vase
as of highest importance for the Minimized Ridinger;
(so the title of the art-historical speech delivered here to the audience of the Ridinger ceremonial act of the Technische Universität Dresden on the 300th Ridinger Birthday), who adds to the manifold symbols of vanity of his œuvre beyond all the pure ones by this pictorial signature a standing leg defying any discussion and in such a way manifests his artistic genius sui generis. See hereto then also the lecture here (The Vanitas Symbolism with Johann Elias Ridinger) to the audience of the 6th annual meeting of the European Dance Macabre Association at Bamberg in 2000 (partly illustrated version in the 2nd yearbook of the society, L’Art Macabre 2, ed. by Uli Wunderlich, Dusseldorf 2001, pp. 94-112). In such a matter
Johann Elias’ authorship of this work
is secured as resulting from itself and confirms together the conclusion drawn by Weitz from Thienemann’s, however, only lump-sum details (“Thienemann [p. 81] means, Johann Elias Ridinger or the Darmstadt court painter Georg Adam Eger [1727-1808] should have been the draughtsmen [of the Incidents set]. But because Eger is not mentioned as draughtsman one must think Johann Elias Ridinger shall be the supplier of the designs. Always then if Eger has appeared as draughtsman the Ridingers designate him as such one”, op. cit., p. 18).
One of the few thematic lone wolves of the set which otherwise is “arranged almost throughout so that always two by two harmonize with each other and form pendants, just as they have been sold in pairs, too. Formerly they all were characterized by Roman numbers. If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions” (Thienemann p. 81). Such concerns particularly seven sheets which have been taken over in exchange for others in a later new edition of the Wondrous.
Both artistically and thematically a superlative
at which not only after realization here the impact of the eldest, Martin Elias, as the etcher/engraver of present plate on the Ridinger œuvre far exceeds that of just an engaged co-worker. Already at the age of thirty he downright acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene, ensuring that sets as for instance the 101-sheet Most Wondrous Deer, of the final 27 plates of which Martin Elias worked no less than 21, either were not aborted or, as here, published posthumously. So from mostly his father’s designs he worked all plates of the Special Incidents, too. Without him also the plate offered to you here would not exist!
And as Wolf Stubbe (Joh. El. Ridinger, Hamburg/Berlin 1966, pp. 16 f. + pl. 34), going in medias res, celebrates Thienemann 722, The Wild Buffalo and the Crocodile, from the Fights of Killing Animals as an artistic zenith of the late work in respect of its luminous efficiency, he pays tribute together, because judging by the plate, not the drawing, to Martin Elias as the etcher/engraver of that work. An aspect illustrating deeply the Ridinger teamwork.
Ref. no. 14,984 / in stock – not cataloged / request description & offer