Love and intrigue, beauty and horror, hells and idylls have always mesmerised humanity. The works of art that will be changing hands during the upcoming Dorotheum
Auction Week are by no means out of date. From the 18th to the 20th October 2016, Old Master Paintings, 19th-Century Paintings and Watercolours, Antiques, and Jewellery will be on the programme.
There is no doubt that paintings deliver compelling stories! A work by Nicolas de Largillière, to be offered at the Old Masters sale on the 18th October beats them all: a Game of Thrones, a version of Dynasty set in 17th-century England, Catholics against Protestants, a king smuggled into French exile
All of this lies behind the portrait of James Francis Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales, in the company of a courtier. The sitter was the king England and Ireland never had, although he was the legitimate heir to the throne. He was born to King James II and his second Catholic wife, who, dressed as a washerwoman, escaped to France, where the painting in question was executed. In the meantime, Jamess offspring from his first Protestant marriage ascended the throne (estimate 120,000 150,000).
The Rebel Gladiators
Ample drama is also offered by the fight between two giant rivals Tintoretto und Veronese, two masters of 16th-century Venetian painting, whose focus was on colour rather than lines (disegno). When it came to winning the commission of the large-scale wall and ceiling decoration at the Scuola di San Rocco and its adjacent church, Tintoretto prevailed over Veronese. Their competition fuelled their art. This is attested to by Jacopo Tintorettos large-scale composition The Battle between Philistines and Israelites, estimated at 300,000 to 400,000, as well as a male portrait by his hand. Paolo Veronese will be represented with his Christ in Glory ( 100,000 150,000).
The city of Venice was one of the most popular motifs in Western painting in general and this also holds true for Giuseppe Bernardino Bison ( 180,000 220,000) and Antonio Joli, the latter of whom also repeatedly portrayed Rome. The painting by Alessandro Piazza documents a procession through Rome that was held after Clement XI had successfully been elected pope and which was modelled on the so-called possesso, an antique triumphal procession ( 80,000 120,000).
Heaven and Hell
Hardly any other painter captured the drama of good against evil in such an epochal and surreal fashion as Hieronymus Bosch. One of his followers envisioned Hell in the most lurid colours ( 200,000 300,000). Jan van Dalen, a painter also represented in Viennas Kunsthistorisches Museum, creates drama in the form of light and shadow à la Caravaggio: in his Allegory of the Four Elements, he combines a stunning chiaroscuro with the tranquillity and straightforwardness of northern Neo-Classicism ( 150,000 250,000). Pieter Brueghel IIs tondo Peasant and Pedlar Sitting on a Bench stages a somewhat brusque scene. An obviously simple-minded peasant recognisable by the two caps on his head is unwilling to let himself in for a disadvantageous deal, pushing the treacherous hawker from the bench. The pedlars goods nets and flutes are symbols of deceit ( 180,000 220,000).
Repose after so much turbulence is promised by the autumnal still life by Isaac Soreau ( 200,000 300,000) and the graceful beauty of Early Renaissance Madonnas, such as a newly discovered work by Jacopo del Sellaio (Madonna and Child with the Infant Baptist, 100,000 150,000).
Southern landscapes and towns, still lifes, and charming portraits of ladies will be in great demand at the 19th-Century Paintings sale on 20 October 2016. Federico Andreottis Young Beauty with a Basket of Roses is a wonderful example of a plein air painting and acts as a snapshot, whereas Hans Makarts lady armed with a fan poses self-confidently in a salon ( 20,000 30,000; 40,000 60,000). Franz Xaver Grubers Large Still Life of Thistles, populated by a spider and a snake, cannot be called pretty in the same terms, but is nevertheless superb in its brittleness ( 25,000 35,000). Rivers play a leading role in Charles Leickerts Meuse in Rotterdam or Albert Charles Lebourgs Seine in Paris ( 40,000 60,000, 15,000 20,000).
More is more: a pair of tall Meissen vases (77 cm high) decorated with fully moulded and painted flowers and a figural base dates from the late 19th century ( 55,000 80,000). The offering is rounded off by Bohemian mother-of-pearl vases from 1877, a pair of Lombard escritoires from 1720/30, and a desk by Joseph Joel Duveen ( 15,000 18,000).