Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Finally I found a good copy of Ridiger's Equus polonicus or our good Old Polish Horse, etching made for the album of some 30plus etching of the mid-18th century horses of Europe and Middle east (Persian, Turkish, Arabian, Barb etc., horses) .
Johann elias Ridinger (b.Ulm 1698 – d. Augsburg 1767) was a German artist and printmaker who devoted his life to the art of printmaking and specialised in equine, wildlife and hunting themes. He was often employed by His Majesty King f Poland and Prince of Saxony Augustus III, and we even have a print of him showing our king, not the best one we had, riding one of his horses. Interestingly Saxony was importing Polish horses all the way up to the end of the 18th century for the Saxon 'chevau legers' of the royal guard, where general Jan Henryk Dabrowski's father was an officer. See the print attached here too.
see this website dedicated to his art and the art of printmaking in general http://www.luederhniemeyer.com/index.php
Please note that our horse is a pinto, with a really small head and very nice muscular body and dry, strong legs. While Herr Ridinger might have exaggerated the small size of his head, nevertheless this lightly roman-nosed head does conform to the 16-18th (or even early 19th century) century preferences our ancestors had for their horses' heads, i.e., small, dry and noble