Download images: Please click on the preview image
Copyright: Dorotheum

Images for the purposes of editorial coverages of Dorotheum Auctions may be used free of charge. Please be sure to include the caption and the copyright information. For other uses we request that you contact Dorotheum in advance in order to clarify possible questions regarding rights of use and copyrights.

Sensational Result at Dorotheum - World Record of € 7,02 million for Frans Francken II at the Auction of Old Master Paintings, The most expensive Painting sold in Austria to date.


Frans Francken II (1581 - 1642) Man choosing
between Virtue and Vice,
realized price € 7,02 million

Sensational sale at the auction of old master paintings on the evening of 21st April at Dorotheum Vienna. Frans Francken's opulent panel of heaven and hell Man Choosing between Virtue and Vice became a triumphant success when sold at 7.022.300 Euro. This result signifies the highest price ever achieved by an old master painting at auction in Continental Europe and a new world record price for this artist. The winner of the dramatic bidding contest was the London Old Master Dealer Johnny Van Haeften.

In his museum-quality painting, Frans Francken II (Antwerp 1581-1642) depicts - with consummate skill - the struggle of the human soul torn between virtue and vice on its journey to heaven or hell. Francken's exceptionally large and many-figured composition gives inspired form to a marriage between ancient mythology and Christian salvation myth.
After decades in a German private collection, the painting is considered to be the re-discovered main work by this scion of a dynasty of Flemish painters whose works already grace some of the world's major museums.

The singular auction success at Dorotheum did not come entirely unexpected as the painting had generated considerable international interest and bidder anticipation in advance of the event itself.

Press Office:
Doris Krumpl, Tel. + 43-1-515 60-406,

Contact in UK:
Pauline Beaufort-Spontin, Mobile 0044 7827 441 386,

Download image: (to be used free of charge only for media reports on Dorotheum auctions)
Photocredit Dorotheum Vienna: