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Johann Elias Ridinger, What a Wickedness

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). What a Wickedness it is the Fox commits here! Reynard the Fox, a goose by the neck, ascending a manorial outside staircase in a wood lined with rocks. Etching + engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: XXII. / Ridinger, sculps., otherwise in German as before and below. 13¼ × 9⅝ in (33.8 × 24.3 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 365; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1877 ( “Rare”, 1885 ); Reich auf Biehla Collection 109 ( “Rare”, 1894 ); Helbing XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 880 ( “Very rare”, 1900 ).

Sheet XXII of the 46-sheet set To the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt (“The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt 1928) etched exclusively by Martin Elias after predominantly his father’s designs and concluded posthumously in 1779.

Irrespective of the shortened inscription “Ridinger” as to be found seldom only the sheet is seen here as worked after his father’s design. Thienemann likes the sheet as being to stiff just as little as its pendant XXIII. Especially in view of the one here it shall be reminded, however, that he could not warm himself up for the rare last four Fable sheets secured for Johann Elias and transferred by Martin which are seen here, quite contrary, as examples of a remarkably advanced artistic expression.

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 then also by the caption referring to aforesaid sheet XXIII, Th. 366, the chamois driven to death by a couple of bearded vultures as just the feathereds’ revenge for Reynard’s outrage here, for

“ He  is  after  innocent  birds  with  cunning  tricks .

And so you, o! human, also have distressed your God,
Who by the prey of the animals leads you on his revenge. ”

Wide-margined impression originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman with 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.). – In the white upper margin still both the two pinholes from the original stitching in numbers, in the upper left corner cut old number in bistre.

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