Spring at im Kinsky: Still Lifes, Idyllic Scenes, Refined Handicraft

The big spring auction at im Kinsky presents highlights from the following departments: Old Master Paintings, 19th Century Paintings and Antiques.

Old Master Paintings

As timeless as they are modern, old master paintings are once more showing us the quality of what is available right now, with a selection of masterpieces from the Middle Ages to Rococo. A sensuous fusion of daring colour combinations, refined compositions and beautiful figures that no photograph can hope to imitate are a challenge to the term “old”.

Two panel paintings by the unknown master responsible for the Epitaph of Florian Winkler at the end of the fifteenth century present the fine line between extravagant and colourful stylisation and early, as well as naive and grotesque, realistic detail that characterised the arrival of the modern age. This era came just a few decades later and could best be seen in portraiture. In the 1520s, Hans Brosamer was one of the most popular painters in Nuremberg. His paintings cost a fortune, which is clearly to be seen in the expression and the fine clothes of Hans Durr and Sebald Schwarcz in these two rare examples. Even more advances were to be found further to the south, in famous centres of art such as Florence. The way Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, friend of Raphael and son of Domenico Ghirlandaio, paints the Madonna, presenting her child to the viewer, leaves no doubt of the self-confidence and joy of existence of the times. Even female artists – extremely seldom encountered in the world of painting – are also getting their chance here, and one of the most famous and successful of them was Lavinia Fontana, whose Bringing of Jesus to the Temple is a great rarity we are pleased to be able to present.

The highlights of the auction, once again, are another two notable masterpieces by Jan Brueghel the Younger, from the most important dynasty of Dutch painters of the sixteenth century. One is a refined and detailed allegory of the five senses while, in the second painting, the painter gives us a view through a rosebush of the holy family resting during their journey to Egypt. This scene, with its wonderfully balanced colours, delicately painted figures, and its own melody of deeply felt intimacy is a convincing example of one of the most fascinating periods in art. However, Bible stories can be seen in a much more earthly way, as exemplified by Salomon Koninck from Amsterdam in 1650 in his Bathsheba Bathing. The Titian red of her discarded robe makes its usual contribution to the sensuality of the revealed body. Austrian masters, of course, are also represented with rare works, including works by Martin Johann Schmidt, called Kremser Schmidt, Franz Anton Maulpertsch and Heinrich Friedrich Füger.

19th Century Paintings

There is an embarrassment of riches at this auction for enthusiasts of the nineteenth century, especially watercolours. Nine of the finest watercolours by Rudolf von Alt from old private collections mean agonising decisions to make. One of the most important, and most modern in its daring use of perspective, is Alt’s masterpiece with a view of the Roman Colosseum from the last years of his visit to the eternal city. Alt, in the description of a cabinet in Zleb Castle, also shows how fine a brush can be and how painting, in the end, can triumph over any photograph.

At the same time as the first monograph on Robert Russ with a catalogue of works is being published, the sixth of im Kinsky editions, we are presenting three outstanding paintings by this extraordinary landscape painter at the transition to modernity.

While the fascinating development of space in the painting of the Etschtal is exciting, the mill in Arco surprises with its free deconstruction of forms and expressive dabs of colour. Russ was always experimental in his approach to techniques, even for the first time using gouache for large paintings on canvas, such as in the enchanting view of the church in Riva.

This department is also presenting wonderful flower paintings by Marie Egner, delicately painted watercolours by Thomas Ender and a selection of pictures by one of the most extraordinary painters of the century, Michael Neder.


This time the range of periods covered is very wide again, starting with a magnificently painted and wonderfully preserved mummy mask from the Greco-Roman period. Another characteristic feature is the collection of amulets from the seventeenth and nineteenth century with cultural specialities including, among many others, mano fico, penis bones and reversible heads made from coral, silver and ivory.

The auction, as ever, also offers highlights in glass, with a particularly interesting piece being the goblet with painted heads by the imperial glassworks in Hall, Innsbruck, 1580. This workshop was founded by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, but only lasted for a few decades. Ribbed brandy bottles from the eighteenth century are seldom encountered with such luminous colours as the one being offered by im Kinsky. Another noteworthy item is the tankard with lid, wonderfully carved from boxwood by Johann Rint, one of the few well-known masters of this art in Linz.


111. Auction: 12 & 13 April 2016
Old Master Paintings, Paintings of the 19th Cebutry and Antiques

Dr. Marianne Hussl-Hörmann, Press, T. 01 532 42 00-27;
Eva-Maria Hanbauer, Marketing and Press, T. 01 532 42 00-16;

Fotos: © Auktionshaus im Kinsky, Wien