The firm was founded in 1707 by Emperor Joseph I and, with its history of more than 300 years, it is the oldest of the great auction houses of the world.

One of Vienna’s best-known institutions, the Dorotheum can be said to embody a part of Austrian history. Eighty years after its foundation as a pawnshop, the "Versatz- und Fragamt zu Wien", it moved into the premises of the former Dorothea Convent, whose name it still bears. The magnificent palace – the Palais Dorotheum, which eventually supplanted the old convent in the Dorotheergasse, was completed in 1901. The famous Ringstrasse architect Emil Ritter von Förster had supplied the designs for the new building in the Neo-Baroque style. The opening ceremony was attended by none less than Emperor Francis Joseph himself. Even then, the facilities met all the requirements of a major auction house in a truly excellent fashion; the spacious showrooms and salons became a favourite meeting place for the high society. Today the Palace continues to provide the perfect setting and an attractive ambience for the Dorotheum’s major international auctions.

Since autumn 2001, the Dorotheum has had private owners, who continue to conduct business with a great deal of personal commitment and a lot of enthusiasm for art.

It is the goal of the management to further expand Vienna as an auction venue and at the same time preserve the charm of this traditional institution. With an intensified client service, a young image, and the expansion of its excellent international contacts, the Dorotheum intends to preserve and further develop its interesting profile for art lovers and collectors. Key initiatives are being taken especially in the fields of Modern and Contemporary Art.

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Objects "Dorotheum"

Pier Francesco Cittadini, called il Milanese

(Milan 1613/16–1681 Bologna) Portrait of six children, oil on canvas, 87 x 120 cm, framed Provenance: Private collection, Rome The attribution of the present painting has been confirmed by Nicosetta Roio (written communication in copy). The present portrait of six children must depict siblings given their similar facial features and the intimacy of the image. Their refined clothes, and especially those of the eldest girl, seen second on the left wearing a pearl necklace with a distinctive hairstyle, not only suggest the high social rank of the family, but also allows a dating of the painting to the 1670s. Pierfrancesco Cittadini’s career as an esteemed child portraitist is documented by other paintings by the artist that were once in prestigious Bolognese collections, for example, the Portrait of a Girl with a plate of cherries and the Portrait of a Lady with two Children that belonged to the Zambeccari collection and are dated to the 1650s, which are now conserved in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (respectively inv. nos. 32 and 81). Close comparisons can also be made between the present painting and others representing children in a group, for instance, the Concert given by four Este Princes in the Museo San Telmo in San Sebastian in Spain (see: N. Roio, Pier Francesco Cittadini detto il Milanese in: E. Negro/M. Pirondini (eds.), La Scuola di Guido Reni, Modena 1992, p. 173). In the present painting, the children occupy the foreground against a dark background: they hold various objects that point to allegorical meanings. The girl on the left notably has flowers gathered in her pinafore, these are likely to be an allusion to the swift passing of life, whilst the second child from the right clearly holds an egg: a symbol of fertility and eternal life. The little girl seated on the far right holds a pomegranate: this is a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, to which her gesture of pointing her index finger upwards, is also likely intended to allude. This painting fully displays the naturalistic current of Lombard painting of which Pierfrancesco Cittadini was a leading exponent. Having trained in Milan with Daniele Crespi, from whom he learnt the practice of working from life, he moved to Bologna after the plague of 1630, where he entered the studio of Guido Reni. This period was a sojourn in Rome when he came into contact with both view painters, and the so called Bamboccianti who also shared an interest in the truthful representation of everyday reality. Cittadini, known as ‘Il Milanese’ in the Bolognese sources, was especially appreciated for his genre representations, which depicted with extreme attention to detail, landscapes, still-lives and individuals from the Lombard nobility and upper-classes. Cittadini’s works combined a quality of illusionism, of Flemish declination, with a more intimate, poetic component that is distinctive. Cittadini was settled permanently in Bologna by about 1650 and he continued to practice his art there until 1670, when owing to illness, he was forced to leave his studio to his children, some of whom continued his practice.Read more

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Blog posts about "Dorotheum"

May Auction Week at Dorotheum - when no improvements are needed
Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, Lucio Fontana and Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and Fernando Botero, Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse - the name dropping continues at the Modern and Contemporary Art sale at Dorotheum.
Dorotheum Auction Week: Take it away!
Sometimes one auction is not enough: Vienna’s Dorotheum dedicates three sales to Old Master, 19th-Century Paintings and Works of Art from 24 to 26 April.
Schiele x Matisse / Maria Lassnig x Martin Kippenberger
Check out four giants of art up for sale in Vienna.
The search for the human form: Lo Spadino
At this year's TEFAF art fair in Maastricht, paintings and sculptures spanning hundreds of years depicted how artists have strived to capture the ever-shifting nature of the human form, a challenge contemporary artists continue to do.
520 artworks, 5 auctions, 3 days: Contemporary Art week at Dorotheum
520 artworks, 5 auctions in 3 days. Check out our highlights coming up for auction at Dorotheum.

Realized prices "Dorotheum "

Oberösterreichischer Bauernkasten, Raum Enns/Haag, um 1800
Fichtenholzkorpus, furnierartiger Grundanstrich, allseitig reiche feldförmige Polychrom- und Floralmalerei mit bandwerkartiger Einfassung, schräggestellte Lisenen, zwei nach oben abgesetzte Türen, profilierter vorspringender Kranz, Höhe ca. 210 cm, Breite ca. 190 cm, Tiefe ca. 75 cm, beschädigt Ruf 4000 Dorotheum
farbloses Glas, ovale Grundform, Facettenschliff, Golddekor mit klassizistischer Darstellung eines Engels und eines Wappens, Höhe 12 cm, Anfang 20. Jhdt. Dorotheum
China, 20. Jh., Serpentinit, plastisch gearbeitet, Höhe 15,5 cm\n Expertin: Regina Herbst Dorotheum
Einleitung zur Medaillen- oder Münz - Wissenschafft, aus dem Französischen ins Teutsche übersetzet. Leipzig, P. C. Monath 1718. Kl.- 8vo. Mit gestoch. Front., 11 gefalt. Kupfertafeln und 2 Textkupfern. 15 Bll., 488 S., 12 Bll. Ldr. d. Zt. mit Rsch. und RVerg. (etwas berieben und bestoßen; Rücken mit kleineren Läsuren). Dorotheum

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