Bloomberg asks Richard Feigen why Old Masters paintings don’t reach the same value as Contemporary or Modern Art. The answer, of course, has nothing to do with the quality of the art and everything to do with the number of buyers and the frequency of their sales:
“There isn’t a public market for Old Masters, it’s for professionals,’’ the New York-based dealer Richard Feigen said in an interview. “Prices are far below what are being achieved for modern and contemporary works, and there are so few great things that are fresh to the market.’’
Old-Master values have struggled to keep pace with those of more fashionable works by 20th-century and living artists. Traditional paintings have a smaller pool of collectors, and while buyers still fight for museum-quality discoveries, less desirable, previously-offered works attract less demand.