Thursday, January 10, 2008

Art sans provenance

The other day, we were visiting a rare books store when a painting hanging in a dusty corner caught our eye. Even if the price was north of our limited means, we did buy the piece. The piece did not come with any provenance or authorship (guess some of you are shuddering by now). We did not know if it were the colors, or the appearance of some kind of an exotic market place in a far off land or the muted appearance of a garrison town in the distance, it sure appealed to my wife and me. Looking closer, I found that the unknown artist applied the oil paint in think dabs that seemed to be suspended between a decision to stay on the surface or drip over the canvas. Almost encaustic.

Note: Buying art without provenance is really not a great idea unless the art appeals to one so much and one does not plan on holding it with speculative interests. The following articles are relevant: What to look for in art and A provenance primer.

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