Reflecting  the  annual  flights

on  the  Thuringia  (Crane’s Field) – (Rhine-)Hesse – Route


strong  House  Kranichstein  near  Darmstadt

from  the  beginning  accompanying

the  line  of  the  Hesse-Darmstadt  Landgraves

Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). This Stag of 3 Antlers was hunted par force by His Princely Highness the Ruling Landgrave LOUIS VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt

in  the  Great  Pheasantry  near  Cranichstein

(Crane’s Rock) Aug. 11, 1753, where the same set above a wall 12 shoe high and escaped, but was shot after the rutting season of the very same year at the border in high counts’ Erbach Schönberg area. Etching with engraving after Georg Adam Eger (1727 Murrhardt 1808). (1767/68.) Inscribed: G. A. Eger delineav. et pinxit. / M. El. Ridinger sculps. Aug. Vindel., otherwise in German as above. 14⅝ × 9¾ in (37 × 24.9 cm).

With not just exact local architecture as generally only here and there with Ridinger, but even more before the scenery of hunting seat


as  one  of  the  first  of  its  views .

The building itself together important for the history of construction:

“ The construction of the castle in – here well visible – three wings is an early,

if  not  even  the  first  example  of  this  style ,

which later has been taken over at other castles, too ”

(Lohmann, Georg I. und die Anfänge von Jagdschloß Kranichstein, no year, p. 70, after Dehio, Handbuch der dt. Kunstdenkmäler, vol. Hesse, 1982, p. 518).

The famous stag of three antlers as sheet 97 (Thienemann + Schwarz 339; Ridinger Catalogue Darmstadt, 1999, VI.10 with illustration on front cover + page 126; Siebert-Weitz, Ridinger, 1999, pp. 44 f. with ills.) of the Representation of the Wondrous Stags and other Animals. – At which not only after realization here the impact of the eldest, Martin Elias, as the etcher/engraver of the plate here being up on the Ridinger œuvre is much larger than that of an engaged co-worker only. Already at an age of thirty he just acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene ensuring that sets were completed as just also the monumental 101-sheet one of the Wondrous Stags to which the plate here belongs, too. Of the last 27 works Martin Elias conveyed to the printing-plates alone 21! Without him 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 Th. 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. – The original numbering “97” restored again on occasion of a later 19th century edition after it had been changed for a separate set in the mid-twenties.

Already depicted in the hunting diary of Louis VIII the stag of 10 points (2 x 3, 1 x 4) poses

in  front  of  the  Kranichstein  pool  and  the  complex  of  the  palace .

In regard of the latter one of its first depictions though. Since

“ Views of the hunting palace are handed down since the middle of the 18th century only, all from the time of landgrave Louis VIII who as passionate hunter kept court almost exclusively in Kranichstein, as his father Ernest Louis also did after … 1715. Kranichstein’s heyday falls under the regency of these princes ”

(Gisela Siebert, Kranichstein, 1969, page 14).

Yet even going visibly beyond this general documentary value as still

“ with  all  the  buildings  of  its  immediate  environs

which  had  been  removed  at  end  of  the  (19th)  century  at  the  latest ”

(Wolfgang Weitz).

And taken from no lesser, though not preserved in Kranichstein (see, however, besides the trophy there, VI.10c of the Catalogue Darmstadt with illustration, Eger’s large portrait painting of the stag, VI.10a, and the drawn study of the head ascribed to Eger, VI.10b with ills.), design than that by of the court hunting painter who joined the court in 1748, and in whom the close connection to the Ridingers obviously originated, and due to the age preferably lasted with Martin Elias. Because 6 of the 12 plates of the Wondrous dedicated to Hesse-Darmstadt (10 of these to Louis VIII personally) plus Th. 356 + 385 as also referring to Louis and later taken over from the Incidents have been worked by Martin Elias, four of these after Eger. Beyond these after the latter the equestrian portrait of Louis from the Princely Persons and two further designs.

Just  as  Eger  was

“the  true  painter  of  the  par  force  hunt  at  Kranichstein …

Louis VIII must have esteemed (him) quite a lot, wished to have him as constant companion on the hunt and commissioned him with a court hunting uniform to put him on par with the hunters, also called him intimately ‘his old mate’ (and bestowed him with the title of a second court painter after the death of Joh. Chr. Fiedler in 1765) ”

(Siebert, op. cit., pages 63 + 109).

“Hunting landgrave” Louis VIII himself together with Hesse-Darmstadt generally not just form the by far largest individual block within the Wondrous, but in the whole graphic work at all. And in this context the plate here with its Kranichstein architecture is

the  most  dominant  plate  of  the  Hesse-Darmstadt-block .

Ref. no. 14,997 / in stock – not cataloged / request description & offer