What Makes Art Sell? 10 Questions That Establish the Value of a Painting

September 30, 2014 4:26 PM

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What Makes Art Sell? 10 Questions That Establish the Value of a Painting

Two years ago a version of Edvard Munch's The Scream fetched $120 million at auction. Last year a Francis Bacon portrait reached $143 million. To the outside world, the pricing of art is a mystery. Why does one work sell for $10,000, another for $1 million, and yet another for $100 million? I have drawn together various strands from my book Breakfast at Sotheby's: An A-Z of the Art World (Published by The Overlook Press, October 2014) to formulate the 10 questions you need to answer to establish the value of a painting.

A fairly obvious question, I know, but there are degrees of authenticity. An out and out fake is of interest to no-one but the student of crime; but sometimes the possibility that an unsigned work in -- say -- Rembrandt's style could be genuine gives it an extra romance and fantasy, and can up the p...

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