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The Market for Paintings in Italy during the Seventeenth Century

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  • Federico Etro

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  • Laura Pagani

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Abstract

We study the Seventeenth century market for figurative paintings in Italy analyzing original contracts between patrons and artists. We show that a number of supply and demand factors affected prices. We find a positive and concave relation between prices and size of paintings reflecting economies of scale. We show evidence of a positive relationship between prices and the number of figures depicted. Trade in paintings was sufficient to equalize prices between different destinations. Finally, we provide support for the Galenson hypothesis of a positive relation between age of experimental artists and quality as priced by the market.

Suggested Citation

  • Federico Etro & Laura Pagani, 2012. "The Market for Paintings in Italy during the Seventeenth Century," Working Papers 217, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:217
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    File URL: http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper217.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David W. Galenson & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2000. "Age and the Quality of Work: The Case of Modern American Painters," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 761-777, August.
    2. David Galenson, 2002. "The Life Cycles of Modern Artists," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 3(3), pages 161-178, July.
    3. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, January.
    4. David Galenson, 2009. "Old masters and young geniuses: The two life cycles of human creativity," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 12, pages 1-9, May.
    5. Hellmanzik, Christiane, 2010. "Location matters: Estimating cluster premiums for prominent modern artists," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-218, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Etro & Silvia Marchesi & Laura Pagani, 2011. "The Labor Market in the Seventeenth-Century Italian Art Sector," Working Papers 215, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2011.
    2. Federico Etro & Elena Stepanova, 2017. "Art collections and taste in the Spanish Siglo de Oro," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 41(3), pages 309-335, August.
    3. repec:bla:scotjp:v:64:y:2017:i:2:p:191-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Federico Etro & Laura Pagani, 2013. "The market for paintings in the Venetian Republic from Renaissance to Rococò," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(4), pages 391-415, November.
    5. Federico Etro & Elena Stepanova, 2016. "Entry of painters in the Amsterdam market of the Golden Age," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 317-348, May.
    6. Hellmanzik, Christiane, 2016. "Historic art exhibitions and modern - day auction results," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 421-430.
    7. Karol Jan Borowiecki, 2015. "Historical origins of cultural supply in Italy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 781-805.
    8. Federico Etro & Elena Stepanova, 2017. "Art Auctions and Art Investment in the Golden Age of British Painting," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 64(2), pages 191-225, May.
    9. Federico Etro & Silvia Marchesi & Laura Pagani, 2015. "The Labor Market In The Art Sector Of Baroque Rome," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 365-387, January.
    10. Federico Etro & Elena Stepanova, 2015. "The Market for Paintings in Paris between Rococo and Romanticism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 28-50, February.
    11. Federico Etro, 2017. "The Economics of Renaissance Art," Working Papers 2017:13, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    12. Cellini, Roberto & Cuccia, Tiziana, 2014. "The artist–art dealer relationship as a marketing channel," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 57-69.
    13. Elena Stepanova, 2017. "The impact of color palettes on the prices of paintings," LEM Papers Series 2017/25, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    14. Pownall, Rachel A.J. & Graddy, Kathryn, 2016. "Pricing color intensity and lightness in contemporary art auctions," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 412-420.

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