Useful Tips

How to determine the value of the picture?


Since a work of art is not a combination of materials and man-hours spent on it, but rather it is a product of the artist’s inspiration and skill, its exact cost is very difficult to determine.
An artist may take advantage of the buyer’s inexperience and sell his painting at an inflated price, or he may not know how much his paintings really cost and sell them very cheaply.

When evaluating his works, the artist needs to understand that the number of works by artists living in Russia today significantly exceeds the number of people who want to buy their work and lowering the price will significantly increase the number of people who are willing and able to buy paintings.
It is no secret that more than half of the country (according to Rosstat in April 2013 - 68.1%) lives on a salary of 5000-30000 rubles a month, and millions of pensioners on 5000-10500 rubles. According to the Federal State Statistics Service for April 2013: 12.4% of employees had a salary of 30,000-40000 rubles, 7.3% - 40,000-50000 rubles, 7.4% - 50,000-75,000 rubles, 4.7% - over 75,000 rubles. In other words, 95.3% of the country's population has a salary of 5,000-75,000 rubles!
One can certainly argue that buying paintings is the lot of only oligarchs and businessmen, but these are just those people who do not waste their money. For them, the name of the artist and his artistic rating is very important. They buy either well-known artists or young inexpensive artists with great artistic potential.
Overvaluation of their paintings, leads to a loss of interest in the buyer and lack of sales. It should be remembered that during his lifetime Van Gogh did not sell a single painting and died in poverty, Cezanne - put his canvases in a wheelbarrow and looked in every open door to get at least 50 francs and pay off the grocer, many great artists died in poverty: Sandro Botticelli, Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt, Amedeo Modigliani, Paul Gauguin, Alfred Sisley, Alexei Savrasov and others.

Let's decide who and for what purpose buys painting.

Conventionally, all major buyers can be divided into four groups:

  • Investors
    For them, painting is a source of income.
    They are ready to lay out 150,000 rubles for a single picture and much more, realizing that over time, the price of these works will only grow. These buyers, even if they themselves are well versed in art, are involved in the process of museum workers, art historians, experts.
    In order for an artist to rise to the level of sales to a buyer-investor, one must obtain recognition of his work.
    All over the world evidence of recognition of the artist are: catalogs (not published at their own expense), certificates of museums (if the works are in museums) and auction houses (if paintings were sold there), contracts with prestigious galleries, etc.
    The presence of these documents by the artist increases the cost of his work and attractiveness in the eyes of the buyer-investor.
  • Collectors
    For them, painting is a source of joy.
    They, as a rule, are not rich, are well versed in painting and buy inexpensive, interesting works.
    Some collectors go the conscious way from a private collection to the creation of a public museum.
  • Designers
    These people buy painting in order to decorate the interior.
    With serious enthusiasm for this process, they can go to the first or second group.
    When choosing a painting, such buyers are guided by their own taste and can follow the recommendations of art historians and designers.
    Usually this category spends 6000-50000 rubles on a painting, and sometimes the cost of a painting reaches 150,000 rubles.
  • Donors
    This category buys paintings for free.
    As a rule, such buyers buy neutral paintings: views of their hometown, landscapes or are guided by the taste of the person to whom they give.
    Usually this category spends 5,000-15,000 rubles on a painting, and sometimes the cost of a painting reaches 30,000-200,000 rubles.

Due to the age of the picture

The first thing that appraisers pay attention to. Cloths dated 1800-1915 are antiques by default, and they cost accordingly. Written in 1920 - 1989 years belong to vintage painting, the rest - to modern.

Determining the year the picture was created is incredibly difficult. Assessing her age, professional appraisers resort to specific methods that are not available to ordinary people. For example, if by means of analysis radioisotope elements are found in paint, then the artwork is done after the beginning of the nuclear era, that is, after the nuclear tests of 1945. Of course, take into account the fact that a certain number of nuclides could get on the canvas after the creation of the picture.

But a few judgments can be made without expensive examinations.

  • If the reverse side of the picture is light or white - it’s definitely not antiques, with time the “wrong side” should darken.
  • The new frame is an occasion to think about the actual age of the picture, but this is not an absolute indicator, perhaps the frame of the old canvas was simply absent.
  • Modern fasteners (self-tapping screw, glue or nail) also speaks of the recent origin of the picture.

Picture Size and Material Quality

The quality of the canvas itself is also of considerable importance in the process of evaluating it. Both canvas material and used brushes, paints are taken into account. Even the large size of the picture can become a plus, because the larger the work, the higher the amount of work required to create it.

Author's name

Suppose you have not yet splashed paint on canvases and have not yet written about you in the newspapers. Then this item does not add anything to you.

Imagine, a tourist was thrown into a ocean in a storm, he swam to an uninhabited island and found there a box with junk of some kind of artist. All 5 days, until they found him, he painted. She went under the hammer for $ 50,000. And here’s another story: at the market in the village of Vyshnye Drachki, the President’s motorcade stopped. At that moment, local carpenter Vasily Ivanov showed his first picture to Kulinichna, a saleswoman for shovels. The president also saw the picture and praised it. This was included in the plot of Channel One. Has anything like this happened to you yet?


But this is the most common option in real life. It does not depend on any expert evaluations, the “correctness of the anatomy,” or the horizon overflow. This lady wants this boat on these waves. This includes all cases from the category of "liked", as well as custom work. If you painted a portrait of a customer at his request (or without) - for him this portrait definitely has some non-zero value and you can sell it for money. Profit in this case greatly depends on the size of the buyer's wallet.

Well, here is our most ordinary and most common case. Someone, we don’t know who, took several cans of paint and for exactly 34 seconds waved his brush in different directions over a large sheet of paper. It turned out natural Pollock, no less. How much is this masterpiece? How much can it be sold "at sotbis"? We need a professional peer review! =)

“Sotheby's” take into account only the first three points. There are no “likes” there. If you have zero on the first three points - look for someone who will fall in love with your spray. And keep in mind that among ordinary people, those who are able to fall in love with a boat on the waves against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset are about 2450 times more than those who are able to appreciate random sprays.