Artprice: The 'Toulouse Caravaggio' Will Be Sold To the Highest Bidder, Probably a Long Way From France
PARIS: The 'Toulouse Caravaggio' will not be kept in France (along with the five canvases by the brilliant Baroque artist that it already has).
The value of such a work is of course difficult to estimate because there is nothing similar on the market. In 2016 a value of Euro120 million was announced, but that was before Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi fetched $450 million (incl. fees), illustrating the massive demand that exists for old masterpieces. The acquisition of this painting - which could well be the sister of a Caravaggio masterpiece conserved at Rome's Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica - will undoubtedly appeal to the world's biggest collectors, but also to the world's most prestigious museums.
In recent years the Art Market has become an efficient and mature market, structured by the virtuous economy of the Museum Industry. In this context, Eric Turquin's brilliant strategy corresponds to that of the financial markets: the value of the work will be determined by the market rather than by a qualified expert. A public sale reveals the value of a work in the eyes of the public, but also in the eyes of the Art Market's key movers and shakers who advise the big collectors.
Mr. Turquin's sales strategy may well be similar to the one used for the sale of Raden Saleh's The Wild Bull Hunting (Banteng) (1855). The work was presented in Indonesia but was sold in the town of Vannes in Brittany by the auctioneer Ruellan on 28 January 2018. Far from the Art Market's major capitals, The Wild Bull Hunting was finally purchased by an Indonesian collector for over $11.1 million (Euro8,922,240), the highest price ever hammered for an artwork in Brittany.
The owners and Mr. Turquin's Appraisal activity have left the French State plenty of time to acquire the 'Toulouse Caravaggio'. The Louvre's experts were invited to discover the work very soon after its lucky discovery in an attic in Toulouse in 2014.