“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”– Epictetus.
Sotheby’s auction house are managing the sale of Monet’s ‘Le Bassin aux Nympheas.’ This will take place in New York on May 12th, 2021.
The estimated sale price is expected to be around £29m, at auction. Yes, twenty-nine-MILLION-pounds! I wonder what Claude Monet would have thought of this? What would you think about an artwork of your own selling for such a price? Is it acceptable or is it, perhaps, a vulgarity?
I ask about vulgarity as a person who has run charity based services for people in desperate need or at risk. When you are desperate for funding in just the tens of thousands of pounds, to keep a member of staff in post or to maintain a premises in order that your service may continue to meet at least some of the needs of those who are most vulnerable in society, the idea that somebody out there can hand over £29m for a painting seems hideous to me on so many levels.
Yet, what value do/should we place upon art? How can that ever be truly calculated or capped? Is not art worth as much as you are willing to pay for it or has art become, over milennia, simply an alternative currency that the rich use to maintain wealth? Or is there another description for what art is/has become?
Is there a point at which the cost of art becomes a vulgarity? Is money simply a relative factor; to a billionaire, £29 million may seem like a cheap bargain?
There are many complexities to this subject, but there may be as many simple truths. What thoughts do you have on this subject?
Post by: Deano Parsons.