In an uncertain economic environment Old Masters have long been considered a “safe” bet. This December article from the New York Times gives a timely overview.
The memories of Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham and othersdisplaying a fascination over the summer with European old masters have faded. Auctions of such works have once again reverted to traditional type.
At least, that was the impression in London this week when Sotheby’s and Christie’s held their regular December sales of pre-Victorian art. The wall colors might have been different (black at Sotheby’s, blue at Christie’s), but these latest old master offerings — featuring a “Head of Christ” by Rembrandt, portraits by Anthony Van Dyck and Frans Hals, and landscapes by the Brueghel family — were put on show much the same way they have been for centuries.
“We’re the tortoise to contemporary art’s hare,” said Johnny Van Haeften, a London-based dealer in old masters. He acknowledged that collecting fashion had shifted toward more recent artworks, but added that old masters represented an alternative investment strategy. “It’s about preservation of capital, he said. “It’s safe, and people are realizing what good value they are.”
Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/arts/auctions-old-masters.html?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTUdVME1XSmpZakEwTkRNNSIsInQiOiJoT2xYY0kxd2srR2hsTVRCb0h0ekZ5THN6a2tKWFBwNEF0UHZHM205anBkOXUwdllCXC91TCtvNmJrWndERkJDVXZSeE5CV2ZTRHBwMExBV3FaK2dyaTV0d1wvazQ3M3ExSDNVekthSTBrQngxdGUwSkh0azFFVXo2TU1rNlBRK0pkIn0%3D