How Much Are They Actually Worth?
How Much Are They Actually Worth?
We Love History

“A priceless work of art” – a phrase often heard in museums, spoken by people who may have forgotten that someone, sometime, did actually pay for the piece at hand, and thus, like it or not, a certain concrete value has in fact been assigned to it. That said, it was almost never the artist who made a fortune on their new work but the many art dealers who recognized its true value – and were also not afraid to ask a high price for it.

The model for the most expensive painting of all time is none other than the wife of a Florentine silk merchant. It was commissioned by Francesco del Giocondo to commemorate the birth of his second son, Andrea; but Leonardo never delivered the painting, and thus received no compensation for it. It was not for a lack of effort, however: the painter spent four years on the piece in Italy, then took it with him to France, and kept refining it until his death.

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