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Johann Elias Ridinger, Wild Goose and PolecatJohann Elias Ridinger, Wicked is the He-cat's Trick

Optical  Dramatics — reflected  by  the  Reeds

Not  only  the  Prey  of  Fox & Falcon …

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). A wicked enemy has here frightened the wild goose — Wicked is the he-cat’s trick. On the one hand in thick reeds a polecat having seized a goose while the other parent takes off and the chicken flee, set back a property, on the other hand in a mountain hollow covered by reed each two herons with spread wings & he-cats, of these one each yet as onlooker. 2 sheet. Etching + engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: XIV. and XV. resp. / Ioh. El. Ridinger, inv. et del. / Mart. El. Ridinger, sculps. A. V., otherwise in German as above and below. 28-11 × 10¼ in (28.1 × 26.2 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 357 & 358; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1873 & 1874; Reich auf Biehla Collection 101 & 102 ( Very rare”, 1894! ).

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

At which not only after realization here Martin Elias’ impact on the Ridinger œuvre is much larger than that of an engaged co-worker as engraver only. Already at an age of thirty he just acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene ensuring that sets were completed or, as here, published posthumously.

And as Wolf Stubbe (Joh. El. Ridinger, 1966, pp. 16 f. + pl. 34), going in medias res, celebrates Th. 722, The Wild Bison and the Crocodile, from the Fights of Killing Animals as an artistic zenith of the late work in respect of its luminous efficiency – particularly on the basis of the

optical  dramatics  of  the  converse , contrasting  sheaves  of  reed ,

the  reeds  reflecting  sheet  lightning-dazzling  the  furioso  of  the  happening

here – 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.

“ A wicked enemy has here frightened the wild goose;
She was hidden with her breed in secure reed.
She believed herself quite free of all surprise;
But the polecat knows to be after her secretly.
He attacks her boldly, does not hear her screams,
His hunger is satisfied; he is happy besides. ”

“ Wicked is the he-cat’s trick; he waylays his prey
With eyes full of thirst for poor animals’ blood;
By his rage he lays a lot into the dust;
Here the heron’s blood puts out the heavily heated glow.
“ And  so  frequently , too , the  good  poor  man
with  his  virtue  has  to  give  way  to  the  mighty  and  rich ”

The two final lines of the caption of the second sheet – bold type not in the original – besides documenting also here that Ridinger deliberately passed over in silence till now, who was subject of the “Dresden Address – The Minimized Ridinger” here given on the ceremonial act of the Technical University Dresden on occasion of his 300th birthday.

Fine, evenly rich impressions originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman with typographic watermark as supposedly secondary or countermark of the Wangen paper mill as one of Ridinger’s preferred firm laid paper qualities

with  the  Roman  numbers

(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.). – Margins above & below 8.4-10.1, laterally 3.1-3.5 cm wide. In the exceedingly wide white upper margin still both the two pinholes from the original stitching in numbers.

Offer no. 15,819 / price on application