Old Master Paintings sales can deliver remarkable results. This was confirmed at Dorotheum
s sale of Old Master paintings on the 30th April 2019, where three paintings were sold for world record prices.
A record price of over 217,000 was achieved for a portrait of the Empress Maria Theresia by Martin van Meytens. Van Meytens was the leading court portraitist of the Austrian Empress and her family.
Another portrait of a member the Imperial family, Archduke Ernst of Austria, reached an impressive total of 344,900. Ernst, the younger brother of Emperor Rudolf II, was the Governor of the Netherlands who amassed a collection of paintings by Pieter Brueghel, which later formed the basis of the world-famous and recently exhibited Brueghel collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
The auction was also of particular interest for its strong group of works by the Caravaggisti, the followers of Caravaggio, whose technique of manipulating light to create dramatic effect with its emphasis on realism was to have such wide spread influence. The Flemist Caravaggist, Joost Van de Hamme's work, Saint Jerome, was particularly successful, selling for 320,500, a world record price for a work by one of the Flemish followers of the Italian master.
Paintings from this group also included a Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, by the highly acclaimed female painter of the 17th century, Artemisia Gentileschi, which reached a total of 442,500. The artist is widely regarded as a leading female Caravaggist painter and an impressive work Bartolomeo Manfredi, The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew made 344,900.
Another notable result was the 320,500 achieved for the Flemish work, Allegory of the Four Elements by Artus Wolffort. Additional works by female painters were sold, The Discovery of Baby Moses by Elisabetta Sirani (186,300), and Marriage Allegory by Angelika Kauffmann (149,700) which was knocked down after a lengthy bidding battle. The third world record of the auction went to Johann Anton Eismann's view of Venice/San Giorgio Maggiore for 100,300.