How to evaluate a work of art ?

Artworks can be presented as decoration, but are more valuable than that. Nietzsche states in his quote: “we have art in order not to die of truth”. So, they speak, communicate and reflect another reality with different meanings. Then, how to estimate them?

Understanding the works of art

A work of art is presented as an original aesthetic creation, suggested by an artist according to a context. They are, in most cases, visible and portable. They can also be considered as a way for the artist to express himself, to tell his story and to show what he feels. Therefore, there are several kinds of artistic works such as visual arts, music or literature. However, nowadays, and for a layman, they can be defined as pictures, paintings, photographs, sculptures as well as collages and watercolors.

Reasons to evaluate a work of art

Appraising a work of art stems from the desire to know its value. It also results from a desire to understand its past. The desire of the owner or a future buyer to check the authenticity of the object also plays a big role. Nowadays, interested parties also seek the advice of an expert to detect the presence of a rectification or repair. The estimation can therefore be used for sale, replacement and certification of authenticity of the object. This task often falls to the auctioneer if the goal is to sell the work of art, and to an expert if the owner plans to insure his property.

The tools needed to appraise a work of art

Unlike amateurs, a professional can, in some cases, easily estimate the value of a work of art at first glance. A professional will need, for a more advanced analysis, to use the necessary tools to perfectly accomplish his function, namely an illuminating magnifying glass, a microscope as well as an ultraviolet lamp. He could also read catalogs, letters and publications in order to get a clearer picture and give a precise opinion. In addition, the mentioned person could always get information from museums, art galleries, whether virtual or not, foundations, but also, from the creator’s relatives. And if these resources are not enough, the person in charge of the valuation can call upon other experts, laboratory technicians and art historians. Estimating a work of art therefore requires advanced knowledge of the field.