First rate selection - Old Master Paintings at Dorotheum Vienna on 13th April

Vienna (OTS) - A first rate selection of several old masters'
finest work - complete with excellent credentials - provides the prime focus of interest for the upcoming auction week at Dorotheum Vienna, the biggest auction house in the german speaking countries. A longed-for idea of an earthly paradise, raised to the level of mythological Arcadia, is the subject of a particular painting coming up for sale at the Dorotheum auction of old master paintings on 13th April 2011. Titled "The Golden Age", the painting also comes with an illustrious name attached: Frans Francken II., creator of the allegory on virtue and vice sold last year at Dorotheum for more than Euro 7 million, the current Continental European auction record for any old master painting.

What sets the present painting apart is that it was the work not of one but of five painters, also involving Frans' brother Ambrosius Francken, Hans Jordaens III, Abraham Govaerts and Alexander Keirincx. The resulting shepherds' idyll probably represents one of the earliest Arcadian scenes painted north of the Alps. According to Dorotheum expert Alexander Strasoldo, the painting represents "an exquisite example of the preeminent position that Antwerp painting had achieved in early 17th century Europe" (estimate: Euro 400.000 -600.000).

Additional highlights of this auction will include the study of a male head by Annibale Carracci, in which he captures a bearded character in oil on paper, seemingly without effort or artifice. One of Carracci's fellow proponents of Bolognese painting, il Guercino, provides a large-scale spectacle of a special kind: His painting depicts a youth in the dual aspect of virtuous Cupid and allegory of the arts. Many of the Italian paintings at this auction come from important collections preserved by Europe's nobility.Valerio Castello (1625-1659) contributes a large-scale Holy Family's Flight to Egypt of matchless dramatic appeal. It represents an art-historical discovery and was attributed based on a study found in the collection of Franz Ferdinand, former heir to the Austrian throne and victim to assassination (Euro 200.000 - 300.000). Giovan Francesco Romanelli's museum-quality oil painting Death of Cleopatra joined the other top-lots presented at this auction directly from the family for whom it was originally created (Euro 100.000 - 150.000).

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