The market for paintings by Old Masters has historically been one of the least volatile sectors of the global art market. While Old Master Paintings underwent a severe price correction during 2009, the peak-to-trough drawdown was less severe than it was for most other art market sectors. In 2010 and 2011, there has been a sharp spike in the value of Old Master Paintings. Artworks of this type are now generally trading at levels comparable to their pre-crash highs.
This article is referenced in the Artvest Fall 2011 Market Analysis in “Investing in Contemporary Art – What You Need to Know,” beginning on page 2. As all the talk of record prices demonstrates, contemporary art has soared in value over the last 10 years, outperforming stocks as an investment and drawing attention to possible bonanzas to be found in the market. But not all boats have lifted with the tide. Prices for the work of a variety of artists, including some top names like Larry Rivers, Eric Fischl and Francesco Clemente, have declined or stayed flat at auction in recent years, according to data compiled by Artnet, a company that tracks such sales.