You might be surprised to learn private art collecting is an avocation with a history that goes back as far as the Middle Ages (5th – 15th centuries) in Europe and East Asia. It later evolved in Italy during the Renaissance period (14th – 17th centuries) of cultural change and achievement in painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, music, philosophy, science and exploration, and spread across Europe as kings and nobleman amassed vast art collections to display within their grand palaces. By the 18th century, an art collection had become a status symbol for the wealthy, and collectors’ preferences influenced what new works artists produced for the art market.
Art Collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm is an example of art collecting in the 17th century and can be viewed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The National Gallery, London
Arts Council England, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (bio & artworks)
How to Collect Art Like a Pro – How to Build an Art Collection, Alan Bamberger, Art Business consulting
A Poor Collector’s Guide to Buying Great Art (10 tips) by Henri Neuenndorf, Art Net News (June 19,2015)
Find out how you can help with art history research right from home, and discover the life of an artist using a very cool, free to
use online tool “AnnoTate”
A Collector’s Passion: The many varied interests and passions
of collectors are similar in one significant characteristic — sometimes the hobby can get out of control.
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Feature image sourced via Wikimedia: Two Women at a Window by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, c. 1655–60 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC) Public Domain
Images of 17th century collections in slideshow were sourced via Wikimedia