Thursday, 28 August 2008

Paintings with cows never do well. Never.

Art+Auction just published its "Annual Investment Issue". Especially interesting is the article by Don Thompson on investing in art. An excerpt follows.

Bright colors do better than pale colors. Horizontal canvases do better than vertical ones. Nudity sells over modesty, and female nudes for much more than male. A Boucher female nude sells for 10 times the price of a male nude. Representations of people do better than landscapes. A still life with flowers is worth more than one with fruit, and roses are worth more than chrysanthemums. Calm water adds value (think of Monet’s “Water Lilies”); rough water brings lower prices (think of maritime pictures). Ship-wrecks bring even less.

Purebred dogs are worth more than mongrels, and racehorses more than cart horses. For paintings that include game birds, the more expensive it is to hunt the bird, the more the bird increases the value of the painting; a grouse is worth three times as much as a mallard. There is an even more specific rule, offered by New York dealer David Nash: Paintings with cows never do well. Never.

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