An auction room filled to capacity, international bidders at the auction and on the phone lines, and one world record following another: The Dorotheum auction of 19th century paintings on 11th October 2011 was nothing less than a resounding success.
Pride of place went to an evocative history painting by Franz Ludwig Catel, which at 306.300 Euro established a new world record for a painting by this artist. Its prominent subjects are all members of the Imperial Russian family gathering around the queen of Tsar Nikolai I, Alexandra Fedorowna, neé Charlotte of Prussia. The Stroll through Palermo referred to in the painting's title, was among other things intended to benefit the health of the ailing Alexandra (Cat. No. 18).
Throughout the 19th century, Romantic artists yearned for one place in particular, Italy: A prototypical product of this longing by Carl Gustav Carus, a friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, depicting Fishermen in Naples Harbour in a moonlit setting, went to a European bidder for a world-record breaking 156.800 Euro (Cat. No. 59) Employed as a court painter by the Sublime Porte, Fausto Zonaro's View of the Galata Bridge in Constantinople was won by a telephone bidder from Turkey for 248.800 Euro (Cat. No. 104). Arnold Böcklin's study At the Edge of the Woods was likewise sold far above estimates at 191.300 Euro (Cat. No. 58).
Konstantin Jegorowitsch Makowsky's portrait of a young lady, a highly popular choice of subject unaffected by changing fashions, titled Sweet Thoughts rose to 237.300 Euro (Cat. No. 120). Another charming lady in the Neo-Rococo style appears in Eugen von Blaas' painting caught in the act of purchasing some fancy shoes. A European collectors couple present at the auction won the bidding for this painting at 122.300 Euro (Cat. No. 12).
Additional world records distinguished the sales of painting by the Munich painters Maximilian Haushofer and Gabriel Schachinger, as well as a sylvan Little Red Riding Hood by Julius Sergius Klever which sold for 202.800 Euro (Cat. No. 19).