How Much Is Your Painting Worth?
Portrait & Self-Portrait
Do you own any portrait? Are you curious to know what they are worth? Our Experts can provide a free appraisal to give you an estimate of the market price, then help you to ensure the best possible price should you decide to sell.
The portrait in painting
Portrait or self-portrait painting is a genre representing one or more given persons. Its popularity has fluctuated over certain periods. There are several kinds of portraits, they can represent a character in an idealized way or bring out certain psychological traits. The portrait is a way of commemorating or showing the social position of the person depicted.
During Ancient times, portraits was used to represent a deceased person, they could take different forms (frescoes, sculptures, paintings, coins). Portraits could also be used for political purposes. Representations are often idealised and far removed from reality. During the Middle Ages, the art of portraiture was less common, due to Christianity, but it returned at the end of this period (then it was generally the donors to the churches who were represented in prayer).
The history of the portrait
The first portraits date back to the 15th century with Italian and Flemish pioneers such as the painter Van Eyck and his famous “Arnolfini Portait”. This style of painting was inspired by the portraits engraved on medals. Portraits had a revival thanks to the development of humanism and great fortunes. At that time, portraits were set both in neutral and decorated backgrounds.
In the 16th century, the Venetians Titian and Giorgione launched the fashion of court portraiture, depicting kings such as Francis I. It was during this period that Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was painted.
During the 17th century, portraits took on an official aspect as shown in Rigaud’s portrait of Louis XIV and would thus appear as a noble art according to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Van Dyck depicted the sovereigns of the English Court in various poses.
In the 18th century, portraiture became very fashionable. Some painters became famous for their portraits such as Vigée Le Brun, de la Tour, de Troy and Carrera. Portraits can be either realistic or allegorical. The 19th century perpetuated this genre through several movements before it went into decline with the invention of photography. The twentieth century was marked by abstraction, so the portrait expressed something other than precise resemblance.
The selling price of a portrait or self-portrait
The price of portraits depends mainly on four factors: the author, the model, the size and the quality of execution. Portraits, even self-portraits, regularly fetch several hundred thousand euros at auction. One of Vincent van Gogh’s records, the Portrait of Doctor Gachet, was sold by Christie’s in New York in 1990, for $82.5 million.
How do we appraise your portrait?
Requesting an online valuation of your painting is simple and entirely free of charge. You just need to complete our appraisal form with a brief description and some photos. This information will be sent directly to one of our portrait painting experts who will provide you with a price range and sales advice.
A team of experts and auctioneers
If you own a portrait, use our online form for a free appraisal.
You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent opinion of the market price. Should you wish to sell your painting, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available for selling at the best price.