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Johann Elias Ridinger, Lions in a Landscape (Tableau de P. P. Rubens)

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Tableau de P. P. Rubens. de la Galerie Roïale de Dresde. Haut 7. pieds 4. pouces Largo 13. pied 5. pouces (78¾ × 145½ in [200 × 369.5 cm]). Lions in a Landscape. At the center watching lion, on the right before a cavity lioness (Th. incorrectly: tigress) lactating three young ones and a second one preparing a hare for herself on the tree-covered hillside above. On the left in the middle distance before opening landscape a small lion hunt with hounds, horsemen – one already raising his spear for the shot – and on foot, the first of which blowing the horn. Quite in front several skull remains along with snake and two frogs, on the slope right a lizard. In the lower margin medallion with the Saxon-Polish dual coat-of-arms. Etching with engraving after painting from the workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577 – Antwerp 1640) by means of the transfer drawing by Charles François Hutin (Paris 1717 – Dresden 1776). (1757.) Inscribed: C. Hutin del. / J. E. Ridinger sculps., otherwise as above in Italian-French parallel text. 12⅞ × 19⅝ in (32.7 × 49.7 cm).

Thienemann (“a single fine sheet”) & Schwarz 724; Nagler, Ridinger, 32 and, Rubens, p. 587 (see below); Weigel XXVIII, 41; Coppenrath (“Main sheet”) II, 1569 & III, 2003; Schwerdt III, 143; Rosenthal, (Ridinger) listing 126, 320; Ridinger catalog Kielce, 1997, 130 with ill. – Cf. Thieme-Becker XVIII, 189 (Hutin). – Not in Helbing, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger (cat. XXXIV [1900], 1554 nos.!).

Voorhelm-Schneevoogt, Catalogue des estampes gravées d’après P. P. Rubens (1873), page 229, No. 37 ([Bartsch 25.] Chasse aux lions. Sur le devant se voit un lion, et une lionne qui allaite ses petits. Dans le lointain sont des chasseurs, qui poursuivent avec une meute un autre lion. J. E. Ridinger sculps. …).

Woermann, Katalog der Kgl. Gemäldegalerie zu Dresden (1887), p. 321 (Only workshop; Rubens’s own hand is not identifiable anywhere. The main group front right is borrowed from our Rubens’s picture no. 974. – Engraved by J. E. Ridinger …). – Rogner (ed.), Verlorene Werke der Malerei (1939-1945), 1965, p. 103 (Rubens workshop, Landscape with Wild Animals/Ebert p. 137, no. 982).

The large-size rendition of the now lost monumental picture, showing first in the 1754 inventory of the Royal Gallery Dresden (II 272) as Rubens as at the same time Ridinger’s only contribution to the Dresden gallery work Recueil d’Estampes d’après les plus célèbres tableaux de la Galerie Royale de Dresde founded by C. H. von Heinecken, the second volume of which was published 1757. Like the first from 1753, this one, too, comprised 50 plates worked from drawings of Ch. F. Hutin and his brother Pierre.

Very fine impression on sturdy laid paper before the plate and volume designations at the lower edge of the text field. Apparently added only by and by and not mentioned by Thienemann either, their missing here probably indicates a genuine Ridinger impression before the edition proper. Just as then Schwarz notes for lower right the plate designation “No: 46.”, as with the copies of the Saxonian State Library, the British Museum and in the Wellcome Library, too. A copy traded here in 2000 in a remarkably excellent later impression on wove paper, documenting the small number of copies, additionally with the volume designation “T. II.” lower left as probably added only for reprints on occasion of the publication of the third volume. According to Woermann the plates were offered for sale on both ordinary and Chinese paper in the Royal Gallery still in 1887. – The smoothed centerfold perceivable on front only in the white text field left of the arms medallion. – Margins above and below 3.8-4, at the sides 1.9 cm wide.

Offer no. 16,187 / price on application