The Extraordinary Art Critic Roger de Piles (1635-1709): An Empirical Analysis of his Rankings and Sale Prices
: Roger de Piles (1635-1709) was a French art critic who decomposed the style and ability of each artist into areas of composition, drawing, color and expression, rating each on a 20 point scale. Based on evidence from two datasets that together span from 1740 to the present, this paper shows that de Pilesâ€™ four characteristics are each both currently and historically correlated with prices achieved at auction. The effect of de Pilesâ€™ drawing characteristic on price has steadily decreased over the period 1736-1960 while the effect of de Pilesâ€™ color characteristic appears to have increased over the same period. De Pilesâ€™ overall ratings have also withstood the test of a very long period of time, with estimates indicating that the works of his higher-rated artists achieved a greater return than his lower rated artists. The annual returns of all artists that he rated achieved comparable returns to other art indices.
|Date of creation:||May 2012|
|Date of revision:||May 2012|
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