Last year “Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo da Vinci sold for the record-breaking bid of $450million(Rs. 2,925 cr) at Christie’s. In January 2017, an abstract oil painting by Vasudeo S Gaitonde fetched nearly $ 4.5 million(Rs. 29 crore). This has been the costliest Indian painting sold according to ARTERY India. Investing in art is picking up trend & has been rewarding for informed investors. For e.g., an M.F Hussain work could have been bought for Rs 1 lakh in the early-90s. Today, a typical work of the master painter could cost upwards of Rs 50 lakhs. This is a neat 15% CAGR over last 25 yrs. It is a similar story with other Indian painters such as RazaSouza, Amrita Shergil & Anjolie ElaMenon. In India, paintings comprise 99% of the art market. If you are keen to invest in art, it is important to understand what the game is all about and a few basics of this asset class.

Things to consider while investing in art

  • Art is not for trading. Invest for the long term.
  • Not all artwork done by renowned artist are masterpieces.
  • Buy what you like, as you may get to keep it for lifetime.
  • Research the artist you want to buy.
  • Your art doesn’t give any additional income like interest or dividends

Art is a good investment. Having said that, you cannot buy art as just an investment. You have to buy it as something you are passionate about. If you own a painting of a well-known artist backed by a good gallery, chances are it will see a slight appreciation over five-seven years. But real appreciation will happen over 10-12 years or 20 years.

Art experts are optimistic about the Indian antiquities market because of the revised Antiquities and Art Treasures Regulation( Export and Import Bill, 2017). Since the passing of the Act, there is no further need for special licenses for selling art objects more than 100 years old within the country. Before this, the traders couldn’t sell antiques like coins, sculptures, paintings, or other works of art without permit. This development makes experts feel bullish about the antiquities market. With online auction space widening & with rich affluent families investing in art, the volumes & prices are only likely to get bigger.


By Abhay Gupta

With background in e-commerce and IT, Abhay manages operations and backend processes at SAKSHAM Wealth. He is a data cruncher and his expertise with MS Excel helps the team in research.

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