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Art Demystified: 5 Rules That Make a Painting Valuable


A painting is an expression of the human desire to create. It is an effort to immortalize a particular person, place, object, moment, or idea. It is a reflection of the artist and their time, yet there is also a timeless quality to great painting that speaks to people even centuries after it is painted. Anyone who owns a painting or is considering buying a painting should take the time to contemplate how it speaks to their spirit, as well as consider qualities like the subject, composition, color, and the technique of the artist. Antique art buyers and antique painting dealers know all this is important. They also know the other factors that make a painting valuable. If you find yourself googling where to sell my antique paintings, you should first examine what makes a painting valuable.

Antique Painting

Rule #1- Who is the artist?

We all know that paintings by iconic artists like Monet are worth a lot of money. That is a given. However, it is important that the painting be authenticated. A copy of a Monet is not worth a fraction of the real thing. Also, typicality matters. Take Picasso, for example. He is most famous for his cubist paintings. His earlier landscape paintings are not worth as much as his cubist paintings. When artists become popular (even newer artists), that drives up the price of their paintings. Antique art buyers know the importance of artists, and some are really looking for paintings by certain artists.

Rule #2- Provenance Matters

It isn’t only the artist that can increase the value of a painting. The price of a painting can also be increased by the previous owner. Think of it this way, the value of a house will go up if someone famous owned it or lived there in the past. If someone famous or a prominent collector once owned a painting, it would be worth more. Antique painting dealers will always look at provenance.

Rule #3- The Condition of the Painting is Critical

Antique painting buyers will look at the condition of the painting. Regardless of age, a painting’s condition will help determine its value. A painting in good condition will always be worth more than one damaged, torn, or faded by the sun. A good antique painting dealer will be able to appraise your painting and tell you how the condition of your painting will affect its value.

Rule #4- History Matters

Antique painting buyers know that certain paintings have achieved historic status. Think of instantly identifiable paintings like Monet’s Water Lilies or Starry Night by Van Gogh. Certain paintings are simply part of art history. It isn’t only their age that matters, it’s their status. The value will really soar if a painting is recognizable as iconic.

Rule #5- Details Increase the Price Antique Art Buyers Will Pay

There are a number of seemingly small details that will increase the price of a painting. For example, paintings on canvas sell for more than those on paper. The subject matter can also increase the price. Paintings of beautiful women tend to fetch more than those of men. Landscapes with natural beauty and sunlight are generally more valuable than those with dark and desolate scenes. Paintings that evoke strong emotions are said to have “wall power” that makes them more valuable. Color can play a role in the value of paintings. For instance, the color red seems to increase a painting’s value.

If you are wondering where the best place to sell an antique painting is, we can help you. At Antique Art Buyers, we have experienced and knowledgeable experts who can appraise your painting and demystify the process of establishing its value. We are truly the best place to sell antique paintings. Contact us today to get started!

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