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How much is my painting worth?

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. 

One of our experts will review all of the information and photographs that you submit, determine your painting's fair market value, based on comparison with recent auction results for similar works of art, and respond with an online appraisal within 24-48 hours. Do you have questions? Ask your expert! We are more than happy to explain how we arrived at the assigned value. Would you like to sell your painting? We can help with that, as well! 

Mearto evaluates hundreds of similar items each month.

Why are paintings important in history?

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.

 

Why are paintings so expensive?

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. 

 

        

 

How can I tell if my painting is valuable?

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. 

 

How much does it cost to have a painting appraised?

We provide the fair market value, or what you could reasonably expect to sell the painting for if you took it to an auction house tomorrow. If you need to know the value of your painting for insurance or taxation purposes, we recommend hiring an independent appraiser near you. Rates normally start at $150 per hour. Search for appraisers in your area in our directory. Would you like to sell your painting? We can connect you with auction houses that are interested in taking qualified items on consignment and will provide a free online appraisal of your painting. Click the "Start Appraisal" button below to get started!

Do you want to sell your paintings?

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.

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Mearto evaluates many different items.