Johann Elias Ridinger, Black Clouds

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Black clouds darken valley and forest Which always resounds from the thunder’s roar. The lightning’s red glow ghastly leads back and forth And fells a poor couple of frightened animals. O unjust lightning, how blind is your judgement: The innocence you find, the vice you don’t see! At the edge of the wood a couple of stags struck by lightning. “(T)he stag lies on its back and bleeds heavily, the hind is fallen on its chest. Dreadfully beautiful … (but) fine” (Th.). Etching + engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: VI. / Joh. El. Ridinger inv. et del. / Mart: El. Ridinger Sculps. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as before. 13⅞ × 10⅛ in (35.2 × 25.8 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 349; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1869 ( “Very rare”, 1885); Reich auf Biehla Collection 96 ( “Rare”, 1894 ); Stubbe, Ridinger, 1966, pl. 32. – In 1900 missing in Helbing’s 43-sheet stock (cat. XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1554 nos.), but was, however among Coppenrath’s 33 sheets in 1889/90. – For the oval preparatory drawing in chalk heightened with white on blue-green paper from 1756 see Schwerdt III (1928), 215, e, then, 1939, at L’Art Ancien in Zurich per listing 14 (Ridinger), no. 39.

Arched top sheet VI of the 46-sheet set To the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt (“The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt) etched exclusively by Martin Elias after predominantly his father’s designs and concluded posthumously in 1779.

Fine warm-toned wide-margined impression originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman with supposedly watermark WANGEN as one of Ridinger’s preferred firm laid paper qualities

with  the  Roman  number

(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.). – Close to the edge of the upper margin still both the two small pinholes from the original stitching in numbers. There also especially on the back faint mould stain. Besides along the lower third of the white left margin unessential fold trace taken out.

The set itself “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” (Th.). Here thus with Ridinger’s picture unit of a threefold food chain of hare, eagle, wild he-cat + hunter. “Both the two pieces belonging together – so Thienemann – are well done.”

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