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François Boucher/Johann Elias Ridinger, Sweet Captivity

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Sweet Captivity. / Jucunda captivitas. A shepherd plays the musette de cour – a refined variant of the bagpipe for artistic music particularly fashionable at the courts in 18th century France – for his shepherdess sitting below a birdcage. Another young woman sitting between them with her left resting on the young man’s knee. Furthermore sheep and the hound of the lover. Mezzotint after François Boucher (1703 Paris 1770). Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above. 16½ × 21¼ in (42 × 54 cm).

Schwarz 1463 with plate vol. 2, XXII (variant); Reich auf Biehla Collection 313 (“Extremely rare”, 1894); Ridinger Cat. Helbing 1539 (“Very rare mezzotint”, 1900).

Not in Thienemann (1856) & Stillfried (1876) , Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, pts. I-XXVIII (1838/57) , Silesian Ridinger Collection at Boerner (1885) , Coppenrath Collection (1889/90) , R. collection at Wawra (1890) , Hamminger Collection (1895) , R. list Rosenthal (1940).

Wonderful  large  sheet  in  visibly  deviating  earlier  state  in reverse after Claude-Augustin Duflos’ (1700 Paris 1786) Ce pasteur amoureux chante sur sa musette from his with but 11 × 12⅝ in (28 × 32 cm) considerably smaller-sized four-sheet series Les amours pastorales after Boucher (“Main master of rococo”, Jahn) and in the person of the shepherdess a very charming development from the Happy Shepherds’ Life expressly noted by Schwarz (“Belonging to the set 1399 and 1400”, as the Foolish Jealousy [1461], too).

Valued by Helbing in 1900 with 75 gold mark even closer to his very fine copy of the 23-sheet (sic!) set The Fair Game (130 gold mark) than the The Happy Shepherds’ Life (70 gold mark). Just as the one here was rated and paid for significantly more in the sale of the Count Faber-Castell collection (1958) than the latter one. Present moreover in the quite evidently best preserved one of the totally five copies known here.

Bipartite WANGEN watermark. – With quatrain in German-Latin parallel text. – Of vibrant chiaroscuro and with truly superb wide margins of 9.3-10 on the sides and 4.8 and 5.5 cm resp. on top and bottom. – Centerfold barely recognizable from the front, a pin head sized scrape and an equal hole in the free outmost plate field of the text margin. The wide white upper margin fissured and backed acid-freely.

Offer no. 28,108 / price on application