European art markets did not evolve simultaneously. Instead, their growth was often fragmented and haphazard. The exception was England, which in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries witnessed the development of a modern art market uninterrupted ...
by wars on native soil and aided by relatively steady economic growth. As art emerged as an exchangeable commodity, dealers and institutions were forced to improve their respective exchange qualifications, and the unprecedented explosion of styles that started in the latter part of the nineteenth century can be attributed to the influence of the institutional art dealer. This book gives a comprehensive account of the history and underlying economics of the modern art market in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. Bayer and Page argue that economics shaped and developed visual culture to the extent that we should no longer restrict market issues to narrative discussions of dealers' involvements in the careers of specific artists. Economic, econometric and statistical analyses of two specifically created, and particularly rich, data sets that record over 42,000 auction and dealer-based sales of paintings in London between 1720 and 1910 reveal hitherto unknown transaction patterns and trade modus operandi that offer unprecedented insight into the operations of the art market.
Number of pages: 288
Date of publication: 01/02/2011
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