Have you recently inherited or purchased a painting and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of paintings. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your painting. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours. Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your painting? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.
Click the "Get Started" button below to set up a free account.
Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.
Receive a specialist's valuation by email in 24 to 48 hours.
Get help with the next steps, including consignment and sale.
According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Art from the past holds clues to life in the past. By looking at a work of art's symbolism, colors, and materials, we can learn about the culture that produced it." Throughout history, from the cave paintings at Lascaux to contemporary works, painting has been an important part of the human experience. It's impossible to know exactly how many paintings exist, but using the broadest definition possible, we can easily assume that there are billions in existence.
Painting is a broad term, which generally refers to a practice of applying paint, pigment or another medium to a solid support surface or base. The chosen material is usually applied to the surface using a brush, but knives and sponges are also common. Painting is an essential component of the history of art and usually depicts figural subject matter, landscapes or completely abstract compositions.
Because paintings are so important to our collective history, they are usually highly desirable amongst collectors, who perhaps see the art form as the pinnacle of the fine art category. Simply put, demand drives price. However, there is also quite a large supply of paintings, thanks, in part to the relatively low cost of production and the fact that painting has been part of the common education for the middle class and nobility since the 18th century. Therefore, it is possible to acquire inexpensive - but still quite significant and beautiful - paintings. It is our most popular category for online appraisals and our experts are well-versed in the factors that impact and determine a painting's value.
When it comes to value, paintings rule the art market. Paintings, more than any other medium, including drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture, etc., make up the lion's share of revenue at most major auction houses each year. In 2018, world records were shattered when a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci became the most expensive work of art ever sold, with a final hammer price of $450 million. Though it's becoming more and more common for paintings to fetch nine-figure sums at auction, the vast majority (92 percent in 2018) of paintings sold are valued under $50,000.
Determining the value of a painting can be a complex process. Factors to consider include: the artist, style, date of creation, provenance and condition. In some cases, even the medium can have a direct bearing on the value. For example, paintings executed on canvas tend to be more valuable than those painted on board, panel or paper. Size can also be a factor. Generally, the larger the painting is, the higher the value tends to be and vice versa.
To have the most accurate and up-to-date value of your painting, it is necessary to have it appraised. At Mearto, we specialize in low-cost, quick turnaround online appraisals. Simply fill out our easy-to-use online form and send us several detailed photographs of the painting. We like to see the front, back and close-up shots of any relevant details, including the signature. Be sure to give a detailed description of the painting, including its medium, style and condition. It is also helpful to provide thorough information regarding the painting's provenance, also known for its ownership and exhibition history.
The most valuable paintings are by recognized and sought-after artists, but this does tend to change with the tastes and trends of the day. One thing that remains constant is the demand for authenticity and pristine provenance. Is your painting signed? That's a good indication of potential value, but it doesn't always mean that the painting is authentic. Many artists did not sign all of their paintings and a signature is relatively easy to forge. The best way to verify authenticity is through a combination of connoisseurship (expert opinion), provenance research and - in some cases - scientific analysis. Being able to trace the ownership of a painting all the way back to the artist - with supporting documentation - is also necessary if you want to get the highest price for your painting.
Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.