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The Market for Paintings in Baroque Venice

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  • Federico Etro

    ()

  • Laura Pagani

    ()

Abstract

We study the art market in the XVI-XVIII centuries with an econometric analysis of a new dataset on original contracts between patrons and artists for commissions of oil paintings of historical subject in the Venetian Republic. Size of paintings, reputation of the painters as perceived at the time, type of commissions and aggregate demand shocks (the plague) a¤ect prices as expected. We ?nd evidence of contractual solutions to moral hazard problems: since quality was not contractable, prices were made conditional on measurable features correlated with quality as the number of human ?gures. We also ?nd strong evidence of price equalization between high-demand and low-demand towns due to painters?mobility. Finally, we provide support for the Galenson hypothesis of a positive relation between age of experimental artists and quality as priced by the market. The results are con?rmed for other Italian art centres.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper191.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 191.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision: Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:191

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