“Collectors aren’t sellers.” It’s long been a maxim that’s defined the philosophical relationship between a collector and their art. This motivation to acquire or commission great works of art has taken many forms since the advent of Renaissance patronage. For the royal courts, it was power and prestige; for the aristocracy, recreation and pleasure; for the great industrialists, cultural refinement; and for the avant-garde, social stratification. Only recently have collectors begun to acquire pictures with at least one eye judiciously fixed on the financial implications. Yet despite increasingly predictable media accounts of the financialization of art, collectors still tend to be quite nuanced in their drive to collect.
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