Priceless Paintings

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Priceless Paintings

Priceless PaintingsWhat are "priceless paintings," and can priceless paintings actually be bought?

Priceless paintings are simply very valuable paintings. While there are some truly priceless paintings that cannot be bought, most so-called priceless paintings can be bought if enough money is offered to the paintings' owners.

For example, Vincent van Gogh's 'priceless' Portrait of Dr. Gachet, one of van Gogh's last paintings, sold in 1990 for $82.5 million.

Pablo Picasso's Boy with a Pipe topped that in 2004 at $104 million, and the current record is the $140 million that Hollywood's David Geffen pocketed in 2006 to part with his 'priceless' No 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock.

A close second would have been the $139 million that Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn was about to receive for Picasso's Le Reve (right) in 2006. But days before delivery, the nearly blind Wynn put his elbow through the portrait of Picasso's young mistress while showing it off to guests and punctured it. Although repaired, the damage is visible under black light and the painting is now worth under $100 million, literally "price-less" by at least $40 million.
Truly priceless paintings hang in museums. Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, for example, is valued between $800 million and a cool $1 billion, but isn't for sale.

What determines the value of paintings?

It depends on more than just the names of the artists, who have their good years and bad, strengths and weaknesses. Typically, the artwork most in line with the media, style and size for which an artist is best known and from the artist's best years are the best buys; such artwork appreciate faster and retain their value better during market upturns and downturns, respectively.

The value of artwork also depends on their condition as Steve Wynn learned, and provenance, a French word that means "origin" or "pedigree". Artwork that once graced the German Kaiser's palace and later the home of Jackie Onassis, for example, would be worth more than if the same artwork had passed through less illustrious patrons.

So, should you buy a priceless painting if or when you have the financial resources?

That depends on your perspectives about those resources. Please click million dollar paintings if you believe they are yours, and click here if you believe them to be a blessing from God.
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