“Stag Looking Left”
Johann Elias Ridinger (German 1698-1767)
Black Chalk on paper
9 x 6 (16 ½ x 14 ½ frame) inches
Ridinger was the eighteenth-century German animalier par excellence. In over 1200 drawings he depicted many representatives of the animal kingdom, as well as animal tales. His father, a scribe, who modelled small equestrian and animal figures in his spare time, might have spurred his son's interest in these subjects. Most of Ridinger's drawings were preparatory for prints.
Ridinger was a prolific draftsman, engraver and publisher, based in Augsburg, who produced mainly animal subjects. He is considered one of the most famous German engravers of animals, particularly horses, hounds and hunting scenes.
He made lively compositions, deftly executed in pen, with a variety of lines used to differentiate between the textures of subjects.
In between his art instruction courses, his visits to the Regensburg riding school proved decisive for his development. His engraved, etched and scratched sheets show the animals in characteristic movements and positions in a landscape environment. The ornamental movements in his works show visibly Rococo stylistic tendencies. He later founded his own art publishing house in Augsburg, where most of his works appeared. Late in his career, in 1759, he became the director of the Augsburg City Academy. His drawings were often executed with precision and taste and hence his work was held in high esteem and was also transferred to decoration, porcelain and ceramics.
Collections: British Museum; National Gallery of Art, D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Morgan Library; Royal Collection Trust; San Francisco, Harvard Art Museum, Hermitage, etc.