Sunday, October 30, 2011

Connoisseurship and Recent Discoveries

The recent discoveries of the Salvator Mundi and the new Diego Velázquez makes my soul tingle. I have endless fantasies, some of my exploits and success as an artist, and being inducted into huge museums next to Picasso's and my favorite artists. I have others about owning my favorite art and creating a whimsical underground museum. Although the asking price is two hundred million dollars for the Salvator Mundi, I find this exquisite work more than worthy of this only monetary expense. If I were a millionaire with exactly 201 million dollars, I would spend the 200 million on the Salvator, and the last million on a condo where I'd spend my days staring lovingly at the Da Vinci. For any millionaire or billionaire yearning to erect the next great art institution, a Da Vinci is the work to own. So few exist in the world (only one in the United States) that a Da Vinci of any caliber would put most museums on the map. In my eyes, this work ranks high on my list of favorite Da Vinci's (definitely in the top three). What's mind blowing about this fact is that I usually hate depictions of Jesus Christ, not only because I am Jewish, but also because the way most artists of the time painted him plainly creeps me out. Da Vinci presents Jesus spot on. Maybe it is the sfumato that lets ones head wrap around Jesus's divinity or maybe it is only that Da Vinci is the only one to present such a brilliant subject to the human eye. Whatever it is, I love the painting. My thoughts on the Diego Velázquez are a bit different. It is a fine painting, but nothing extraordinary. Still, I would love to have it in my fantasy museum.This all presents the question about connoisseurship. Many people get into a tizzy and declare, "The art market is a fraud. Why has the price of the painting gone up by five million dollars with just the naming its a new author. This is absurd!" I look down upon these absurd folk, and respond by telling them that there are many reasons why the price escalates when a painting is found to be created by a master. To begin with, these paintings can help reveal what the thought process behind other paintings, and the dialogue between many works he painted during an allotted amount of time. Also, there is  a profound happiness that can be achieved through owning a painting made by a genius that painted fabulous work (even if a particular painting isn't his best work. Finally, in response to claim that "these prices are astronomical...why would people pay such money for this", I counter, "People pay much more money yacht's, houses and other plain shit, paintings are much better things to buy if one has that money.

So this is my first post. I am a 16 year old male trying to educate both adults, children, and my own age group about the wonders of art and art history. Future posts will be about upcoming auctions, my art preference, and museum reviews.


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