In Ireland, there is remorse and recriminations over the credit bubble and the toll it took on the Irish economy. Here the Independent ties the art market to real estate market directly:
For several years the art market has mirrored the Irish economy with the annual sales of Irish art at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and beyond, reflecting conspicuous consumption at grossly inflated prices.
That ended in London this week. Works by the likes of Jack B Yeats, John Lavery, Louis Le Brocquy and William Orpen elicited little interest where just a short time ago bidding would have been furious, with an eye not just to the speculative gain but also to the bragging rights.
Just as in the wider “real” economy, it was left to the taxpayer to step in and rescue a revered household name, with the purchase of the much-publicised portrait of celebrated tenor Count John McCormack by Sir William Orpen by the National Gallery of Ireland for €404,600.
The 1923 oil painting, owned by the subject’s grandson, was withdrawn from auction at Christie’s in London on Friday morning when it failed to make the reserve price. A bit like the property market, those with money gathered as much to watch prices struggle as to make a purchase.