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This mezzotint, titled Asiatische Jagt and created by George Philipp Rugendas in Augsburg around 1740, captures a dramatic moment of Asian hunters engaged in a perilous battle with a lion. Rendered in a rare blue ink, the print vividly portrays a group of hunters, some mounted on horseback, wielding polearms, and a male lion ferociously attacking a fallen hunter.

In the mid-18th century, European art witnessed a surge in orientalist themes, fueled by a growing fascination with the East and its perceived exoticism. Rugendas, a member of a renowned family of artists from Augsburg, was known for his skill in capturing dynamic and intense scenes. Asiatische Jagt stands as an embodiment of this trend, offering a Western interpretation of an Eastern scene. The depiction of the Asian hunters, resplendent in their traditional attire and engaged in the dangerous sport of lion hunting, is indicative of the period's romanticized and often dramatized view of Eastern cultures.

The choice of mezzotint and blue ink in this piece is particularly noteworthy. Mezzotint, known for its capacity to produce rich tones and subtle gradations of light, was a popular medium for capturing depth and drama in prints during the 18th century. The unusual use of blue ink, rather than the more common black, adds a unique visual element to the print, enhancing the scene's exotic and mysterious aura.

Asiatische Jagt not only serves as a striking example of 18th-century orientalist art but also provides valuable insights into the era's cultural perceptions and artistic trends. The depiction of the fierce battle, underscored by the intensity of the lion's attack and the hunters' valiant efforts, reflects a fascination with both the danger and allure of the exotic East.


Even in black ink, this print is extremely rare. In blue ink, it might be unique.

Condition Description
Mezzotint in blue ink on laid paper. A few expert marginal repairs.
See Andrea Teuschner "Die Künstlerfamilie Rugendas 1666-1858", 1383.
Georg Philipp Rugendas (I and II) Biography

Georg Philipp Rugendas I was a painter, printmaker and publisher. Born Augsburg 1666, died Augsburg 1742. Founder of the family business, and father of Georg Philipp II, Christian and Jeremias Gottlob Rugendas. 1690-92 Vienna, afterwards Venice for 14 months. October 1693 Rome. 1695 back to Augsburg. 1710 director of Academy of Arts Augsburg.

There was apparently an attempt by the family to print in blue colors: