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).
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