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Understanding the Value of Art 


Art is subjective, personal, and interpretative. Van Gogh’s famed ‘Scream’ that draws in audiences all over the world with its sheer imagery and evocation may not impress the fourteen-year-old who prefers the Japanese Anime. Yet, both are art.



What makes art valuable is its sheer survival and ability to mould itself to match the story of its time. From the raging bull scribbled by an unknown artist on a pre-historic cave-wall to the modern-day Bansky’s satirical jibe at the world–art has been there through it all, taking notes and giving us reasons for both despair and amazement. 


The innate value of art that appreciates with time makes it an interesting investment instrument in the portfolio of the sophisticated investor.  Art investment has been there for centuries, just like some of the world’s most famous art auctions. 


When it comes to investing in art – it’s important to understand the fair value to ensure that the investor gets a win-win deal at an auction. In this article, we will introduce you to the basic elements that contribute to the value of art. 

Why are some Artworks more Valuable than Others? 


Recognizing artwork of value can be a process that involves some sleuthing, a lot of hunting, and a stroke of luck. The two main elements of art value are the actual commercial worth of an artwork and the personal significance that it carries for the buyer.


Determining the commercial value of art 


Paintings by renowned artists draw better value. While it’s unlikely to find a Monet lying around, a stroke of luck may bring you face to face with a lesser-known work of some other famous artist in a legacy home. You need to stay updated on the rising or famed artists through online art sites or local galleries. 


Signature and/or certificate of authority gives the painting an instant boost in art appraisals. Look for the artist’s signature on the painting. Ask the artist for a certificate of authenticity or get the documentation done through expert testing. This is invaluable while reselling art.


How prolific the artist is can raise or lower the worth of the painting. If the artist has produced a higher volume of art, then his or her work will attract a lower rate than someone equally famous but with fewer paintings. This is because scarcity does foster 


The stage of restoration determines the price of a painting. Originals are valued much more than a restoration, which further affects the price. However, a restored, globally known artist would still rate over an unknown original. 


The size of the canvas, surprisingly, is an indicator of the estimation of the painting. Larger canvases demonstrate a greater technique by the artist, and thus it increases the price. 


The value of art prints can be significant if selected well. Buy limited edition prints of famous artists, with the artist’s signature on it. The number of copies in a limited edition print will be mentioned on the back.


A vintage frame can be of great worth even when the painting within it is not valuable. Sometimes, a genuine period frame, one with hand-carved designs, can fetch a return on your investment. 

Personal Elements of Art Value 


The elements of art value definition would be incomplete without a mention of what the painting brings to your life. 

  • It can be a time in history, captured in all its glory, forever, reflecting the costumes and attitude of that period.

  • It could be a representation of your emotions or phase in life – tranquil, evolving or passionate. 

  • The  right art could inspire you, heal you and move you deeply. 

Art appraisals and collection is a world unto itself. You may find the journey immersive if you enjoy great art. The Art collection has also become a preferred pursuit for many global citizens, combining great investment value with aesthetic satisfaction.