Collecting art paintings
The art market, thanks to sales and purchases, is in continuous movement; the exchange of paintings linked to collecting, to the simple desire for possession or for cultural, aesthetic or commercial purposes, is the engine of this process. The market ,with its dynamism, promotes cultural integration between subjects and peoples belonging to different geographical areas, creating the conditions for a cultural and social uniformity. So the collectors and art lovers are welcome, who with their purchases, who with their passion that stimulates the art market, allowing the preservation and use of the same for themselves and for others.
The collector is willing to do anything to possess and admire some masterpieces. During the seventeenth century, the Renaissance concept of a patron prince changed in the seventeenth-century "modern" collector. Art is no longer imposed exclusively from above, but is the object of personal desire without pre-established codified and theoretical principles. In this capacity, art left the painters full freedom in the choice of subjects to paint, encouraging the search for new secular themes such as landscapes, still lifes, battles and genre scenes.
The ambition of collecting, together with a real earning potential, developed a flourishing market of paintings both in Italy and internationally. Thanks to the intense commercial exchanges of the Ligurian and Tuscan art dealers with Flanders and Germany, an acceleration of the exchange process took place: at the beginning with a north-south prevalence, then with the reverse reflux. The artists influenced each other both stylistically and in formal compositions.
The flowering of Dutch painting of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is one of the most surprising and exciting pages of the entire history of art. Suddenly a young and small State, although not having cultural roots in the visual arts, discovers a "vocation" for painting so important as to determine a movement and a pictorial school that have amazed the world. In the three centuries mentioned, the Flemings produced and purchased paintings in much greater quantities, in relation to the population, than any other European nation. Having said that, it should not be surprising that today the Flemish paintings represent a large part of the lots sold by the major international auction houses. In the art market, such an abundance of Flemish artworks is absolutely incredible but true; the reasons that make these paintings so attractive for the market are the small size, the pleasant subjects and the excellent quality of the painting. The small dimensions are justified by the fact that the Flemish patrons were predominantly bourgeois; consequently, the paintings were necessarily of medium and small dimensions, suitable for adorning the domestic walls.
The same bourgeois clientele favored non-religious subjects such as portraits, still lifes, battles, interior scenes and landscapes destined for the comfortable houses of the upper class. The painting ended up addressing an increasingly large and wealthy public and a private and domestic use. All the nineteenth century is characterized by the swarming of private collections, born also following the romantic revaluation of medieval and Christian art. In the early twentieth century, however, the investments of the American financial magnates and industry attributed to collecting the function of conferring a temporal duration to the ephemeral production of modern civilization and of the absolute exaltation of the work of art.