Essay The Market Performance For Impressionists And Modern Art

Essay The Market Performance For Impressionists And Modern Art

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Nowadays, the role of art is changing. Art is no longer just appreciated for aesthetic values or expression of ideas, but it is also viewed as an investment. Moreover, auction house, as it appears to people from outside, is not as simple as it looks, however has its own strategies of marketing important pieces and breaking records for having most expensive sales. Taking Pablo Picasso’s piece, Femme Assise, as an example, this essay will aim to explore the ways its presented and marketed by the auction house as well as evaluate the market performance for Impressionists and Modern art in general by looking at sales for last 15 years and factors that affect the market value and investment potential.

Catalogue entry, price estimate and marketing
Pablo Picasso, Femme Assise (1909), is ‘an extremely rare piece; there has not been a painting of this importance at auction in potentially a generation’ as was commented by Helena Newman on the evening of Impressionist and Modern Art sale. Being sold for £43.2 million ($63.4 million), it became the most expensive Cubist painting ever sold at an auction. This part of the essay will try to evaluate the factors that may have led to such a successful sale price.

The catalogue note may be used as an indication of the importance of a particular art piece not only in the coming auction but also in its particular market. Regarding our particular piece, Femme Assise, it was dedicated a descend amount of space filled with full-side illustrations in the “Evening Sales Catalogue”. The provenance for the particular piece is clean, it shows that it was owned by international art dealers such as Knoelder&Co in New York, Gallerie Pierre in Paris, art collectors and was last sold at an auction in 1973. Suc...


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...r for the near future. Most importantly the note states that this piece is not only valuable for the auction, but it is important historically since paintings from this period marked the arrival of Analytical Cubism.

Considering the facts discussed above, it is interesting to know how the price estimate of over £30 million was placed on a piece like that. As it was commented by the Sotheby’s specialist, this piece had a different appeal to the intellectual senses, rather than immediately recognizable “Picassos style”, it is more serious and therefore made the Auction house more cautious in terms of their pricing strategy. Picasso holds the record for being most expensive art work ever sold at an action, and I assume, there was a challenge to determine the price estimate considering the Picasso’s “brand” and the selling price of similar paintings at previous sales.

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