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Art prices are driven by the enduring success of the Western invention of art as a status good and its dynamic of price, value, and demand. This dynamic materializes in practices of selling and buying artworks. Since the rise of the art market in the 19th century, volumes of sales and price levels have been rising, and competition for value has increased, embedded in circles of boom and bust.

Price and Value

During the 18th century, western European societies released art from any utilitarian purpose. The focus shifted from commissioned works to single works of art and art careers built on a body of work, or oeuvre. Commissioned works were often produced by a group of artists and rewarded at fixed rates per day, whereas single works ...

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