About the artwork
RIDINGER, Johann Elias.
Vorstellung der Pferde, nach ihren Hauptfarben, und derselben verschiedenen Abtheilungen, Complexion, und der daraus entspringenden Beschaffenheit. | Description du cheval, selon ses poils principaux, & leurs diverses divisions, sa complexion, & les qualités qui en resultent.
[Augsburg, Martin Elias Ridinger and Johann Jakob Ridinger, 1770 or ca. 1768]. 4to. With an engraved allegorical frontispiece, 50 plates with captions in German and French, conceived, drawn and engraved by Ridinger. All plates, including frontispiece, beautifully coloured by a contemporary hand as published, some highlighted with white chalk.
Mottled, tanned half sheepskin (ca. 1840); recased.
With: (2) RIDINGER, Johann Elias. [Die guthe Gestalt eines Pferdes| La beauté et les parties exterieures du Cheval].
[Augsburg, ca. 1765]. Drawing in pen and brown ink, ink washes and white chalk on grey-blue paper (24 x 17 cm, frame of pen-drawn rules 18.5 x 13.5 cm, with an empty panel at the foot for the title), for the second plate of Vorstellung der Pferde. With the small ink stamp of an eagle (9.5 x 7 mm) from the collection of Aldalbert Freiherr von Lanna (1836-1909). In a passe partout.
Rare first edition, in German and French, of a great coloured print series, with a 39-page letterpress text, showing horses in a wide variety of colours and patterns by Johann Elias Ridinger (1698-1767), a German painter, graphic artist and engraver of animals, most famous for his horses: "one of the most beautiful illustrated animal books of the 18th century ... lavishly illustrated and also very rare" (Dejager). Together with the book we offer Ridinger's fine original pen and ink, ink wash and chalk drawing for the second plate. While many books or print series on horses show them standing or occasionally running in a race, most portraits in the present series show them much more naturally: stamping or pawing the ground, rearing up, jumping, kicking, sitting and rolling on the ground. When they do stand still they are often turning their heads.
With significant tears in 2 plates, unobtrusively repaired without loss, but otherwise in good condition, with minor, mostly marginal repairs, small smudges or stains, or minor browned patches in a few other plates. The drawing has a minor crease in the paper, affecting only the background, but is otherwise in fine condition, with only a couple minor marginal defects, not approaching the drawn image. A beautiful and charming horse book, essential to any collection, with the original drawing for one of the plates in fine condition.
Cobres 310; Dejager 252; Mennessier de la Lance II, 429; Nissen, ZBI 3418; for the Adalbert von Lanna collection: Lugt I, pp. 516 ff. (no. 2773).
About the Artist
Johann Elias Ridinger was born on February 16th, 1698, in Ulm, Germany. He is often considered to be one of Germany's most famous engravers of animals and hunting scenes. Ridinger learned the art of engraving from Georg Philipp Rugendas.
He also spent a considerable amount of time in Regensburg, where his visits to riding schools proved to be of great influence for his later artistic development. His engravings incorporate ornamental movement according to the Rococo style. In 1759, Ridinger became the director of the Augsburg Stadtakademie.
His drawings were precise and tasteful and hence his work was in high demand and often trasferred onto dishes, teapots and other ceramics.
Ridinger passed away in 1767.