Who Sets the Prices?

It is a very rare case when the artist sells his or her artwork straight to the consumer. Usually that happens with the help of the art dealers or the auction.

The art dealers take one third from the price the art work was sold for as a rule. In that way they cover their expenses. The higher the price is the more is the dealer’s income. Hat’s why the agents try to set the highest price possible.

Before the auction sale the experts evaluate the art object and set the start price for it. However the result of the public sales cannot be always predicted for sure. On the 15th of May 1990 the picture by Vincent van Gogh which was an almost unknown one was presented for the Christy Auction in New York. Many art analysts were convinced that the price for this art work wouldn’t be high due to the economic decline which prevented the prices of the pieces of art from raising.

But what was the overwhelming surprise when the painting was sold for more than eighty million USD. That was twice more than the price predicted.

The auction organizers sends the catalogs beforehand to inform the buyers about the characteristics of the art work and its start price.

The art experts and dealers set the price of the art object according to the several factors.

  • The reputation of the artist. That depends upon the amount of his exhibitions, especially the personal ones. The artist acknowledged by the critics has more chances to sell his work for the higher price. Later the works of the artist may be purchased by the museums of the private collectors which will only raise the price of his art objects.

  • Trends. The changes in preferences may lead to evaluation of the works of those who appear to be deceased.
  • The size of the painting, the cost of the materials used for its creation and the time the artists spent for the work.
  • The rarity of the art object. If the artist has died or ceased painting the prices may go higher.
  • The prices may rise in the time of the inflation as they are the alternative for the investing.
  • The current state of things in the art market.

It’s a pity but not all the art works are purchased by the art lovers. The most expensive art objects are often bought as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, as it is difficult for museums and collectors to afford them.

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One thought on “Who Sets the Prices?

  1. Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists of all time!
    Very interesting to learn what really matters setting a price for a piece of art.
    Thank you so much for this article!

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