Sunday, December 17, 2017

Will a Titian painting from the 1560s beat Salvator Mundi’s $450m hype?


And I'm not sure why the article is illustrated with what I think are a Bellotto and a Canaletto but they're pretty pictures too.
From Quartz's Quartzy:
The art world has been abuzz for weeks over the sale of Leonard da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” for $450.3 million. The painting—which is the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction—will hang in the new branch of the Louvre, in Abu Dhabi.

Interestingly, “The last da Vinci,” as the painting has been called, has something in common with another piece of Old Masters art set to be sold at Sotheby’s early next year. “Saint Margaret,” painted by Titian and his workshop, and Salvator Mundi were both once owned by King Charles I, who Christie’s calls “the greatest picture collector of his age.”

This is significant because it means that there are apparent records of what both paintings were worth when the King met his untimely end (by decapitation) in 1649. The Financial Times reported that, in an inventory taken after the monarch’s death, Leonardo da Vinci’s work was valued at a mere £30, while the Titian work was approximately three times that, at £100.

This begs the question: Is there any kind of methodology or predictability to the way art appreciates in value? As the FT wryly estimated: “if the same valuation ratio has applied to both paintings through the past four centuries or so, [the Titian] could be worth $1.5bn.” But insiders are estimating that the Titian painting will sell for a paltry $2-3 million—not exactly a stunning price tag for high net worth individuals. So, what gives?

First, says Andrew Goldstein, editor in chief of, there is the obvious fact that Salvator Mundi is a da Vinci and that the art market is anything but stable....MORE
Here's the Titian:
If I'm reading this right it's the Prado's painting which raises the question: Why is the museum selling?
As for Canaletto, England's Royal Collection has one of the largest assemblages of Canaletto's including a whole bunch (technical term) of the Venice scenes.
This puts the score at:
Queen of England-274---Me-0.