- Museum number
- Object: Die Landscaft mit Bileam's Esel (The Landscape with Balaam's ass)
Landscape showing Balaam riding on a donkey towards an angel holding a sword to right; trees on either side; houses in the distance; second state. 1807
- Production date
Height: 151 millimetres
Width: 315 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Antony Griffiths and Frances Carey, 'German Printmaking in the Age of Goethe', BM 1994, no. 96 :
The story is taken from Numbers XXII, verses 22-35: the ass alone sees the angel that God had sent to bar Balaam's way. It is an extremely rare subject that Koch later returned to in a painting of 1816 (Lutterotti G41) and later versions thereof. But it had been etched by Swanevelt (Bartsch II p.315, no. 111), and Reinhart's figure of Balaam is taken directly from Swanevelt's print. The angel, too, is very similar. Reinhart must have intended the allusion to be recognised. The landscape is utterly different, and this print would have been seen as his reworking of a classical subject and landscape in the new 'heroic' style.
The pnnt is dedicated to Reinhart's friend, Christian Heigelin (1744-1820), the Stuttgart-born German merchant and banker who acted as Danish consul in Naples. Was one of his most important patrons, and owned a number of his paintings (e.g. G66 of 1801). Reinhart dedicated a number of his more ambitious historical landscapes to patrons and friends. Later examples are 1869,0410.1670 and 1869,0410.1659, and an earlier one is Andresen 97, a vertical landscape with the prophet Elijah being fed by ravens, which he dedicated to the Spanish painter José de Madrazo (1781-1859). Madrazo lived in the same building as Reinhart; other occupants at different times were the critic Fernow, Thorwaldsen and Koch (of whom Madrazo etched a portrait).
Madrazo made a very large and fine collection of prints, both old master and modern, which after his death passed to the Marquis of Salamanca. He sold it at auction at Sotheby's in London on 24 February 1869, where the British Museum purchased no less than 2618 prints. Among them was lot 497* for £1 5s. which comprised 56 etchings by Reinhart. This explains the outstanding quality of the British Museum's Reinhart collection.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994/5 Sept-Jan, BM, 'German Printmaking in the Age of Goethe', no. 96.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number