The sale will start at 15th May with classical modern artists. Henri Matisse, Edward Cucuel, Edgar Degas or Marino Marini will join some of the most prominent artists of Vienna’s avant garde - Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele among others.

One of the highlights comes straight from the personal collection of Schiele’s heirs - a sheet with pencil drawings on both sides, drawn by the artist in 1914. Both motifs depict a woman, one kneeling and one lying down. Presumably, the drawings were created in Schiele’s studio in the Viennese suburb of Hietzing. However, the colouring of the “kneeling act” does not originate from Egon Schiele, but was added later on most likely by Anton Peschka, another Viennese artist married to Schiele’s sister Gertrude.

Another highlight worth mentioning is Fritz Wotruba’s sculpture Große Stehende meaning the Great Standing. Wotruba left his workshop and Vienna for Switzerland in 1938 after the German occupation of Austria - an exile that would last until 1945.

During exile, they spent some time in Geneva, where in 1942 the Great Standing was created, giving it the nickname Geneva Venus. The sculpture is a product of Wotruba’s figurative period, which would gradually become more abstract in the post-war period.


Gustav Klimt is represented with a number of exciting works, one of them being a semi-nude created around the same time as Egon Schiele’s. Next one, lot 14, is two chalk studies. The first one is a study for Klimt’s Irrlichter from 1903, and the back of the canvas shows another study, created in 1900-1901, created in preparation for his portraying of  mountaineer Rose von Rosthorn-Friedmann.

klimt auction price Left: GUSTAV KLIMT - Rose von Rosthorn-Friedmann, 1901 | Photo: Wikipedia Right: GUSTAV KLIMT - Irrlichter, 1903 | Photo:

As mentioned earlier the french avant garde is represented by masters like Henri Matisse and Edgar Degas. With the drawing Danseuse Debout, les mains derrière le dos, meaning Standing danser, hands behind the back, we find ourselves in the middle of Degas’ favourite environment - amongst the dancers of the Paris Opera, whom he mostly painted during their off-stage training. Degas seem to have captured the dancer minutes before a performance as she puts her hands on the costume one more time while looking down at her most important tool - her feet.
4 Left: HERNI MATISSE (1869 Cateau-Cambrésis -1954 Nice) - Portrait de femme avec un collier, ink / paper, signed and dated, 1937. Right: EDGAR DEGAS (1834 Paris 1917) - Danseuse debout, les mains derrière le dos, pastel , Charcoal / paper, signature stamp, 1887

Mary Cassatt, born in Pittsburgh in 1894, made this hand coloured print while living in France. After plunging into the classics of the Baroque, Edgar Degas convinced her to join the Impressionist movement. It was through Cassatts tireless work and mediation that helped make this new style of painting popular in the United States. Cassatt mostly painted intimate scenes with mothers and children - often the only motifs available for a woman artist at the time.

Let’s leave Europe for a while to take a closer look at Colombian painter Fernando Botero and his l’Odalisque. The motif is not only one of the most popular in 19th century oriental painting, but also in his own work.  During the 1950s, Botero began to develop his use of oversized proportions and shapes which would soon become his signature style

Gerhard Richter, born the same year as Botero, is also represented in the sale at Dorotheum, his unnamed work from 2008 being the most prominent one.

No Modern sale without Andy Warhol, this time with the diptych Two Diane Keaton created for Vanity Fair in 1984. As a template Warhol used a still from Keaton’s movie Mrs Stoffel released the same year. The movie takes place in 1901 and Keaton was dressed accordingly. Warhol used the costume to his advantage turing the actress into a mystical icon with a veil.

The highest estimated prices of the auction week at Dorotheum is two works by the Italian artist Lucio Fontana. Since the 1940s, Fontana perforated his canvases to give the work a three-dimensional touch and break up the flatness of the canvas. In his later work, from which these two ‘spatial concepts’ originate, he perfected the connection between art and the real world, stating that ‘no improvement was needed’

The art auctions ‘Modern Art’, ‘Contemporary Art I’ and ‘Contemporary Art II’ are being held 15th May to the 18th will be followed by the jewelry auction 17th May and the watch auction at 18th May.

Discover the amazing Dorotheum sale here at Barnebys!