An Eye to Becoming a Great Collector: how to train your artistic eye

An Eye to Becoming a Great Collector: how to train your artistic eye

By following a basic set of rules an ordinary collector can become a legendary one.

Practice makes perfect:

  1. To acquire a basic understanding or feeling for art it is important to look at as much art as possible: a bit like tasting wine to develop the palate. “Look at the art of the past, the recent and the present” attend galleries, art fairs, artists’ studios, talks and events to clock up your eye mileage.
  2. Train the eye to become a connoisseur by scrutinizing art. Here it is important to understand art history to see if an artist is referencing work from the past. The more you look the better you will become in noticing the details that define iconic works which may rise in value: “Training your eye is the key to discerning the mediocre from the good; the good from the great and the great form the sublime” Pinto Director, Elizabeth Xi Bauer

Stand in front of the art piece and ask: what is going on? Instead of asking “is a work of art good” or “is it aesthetically pleasing?” consider is the art “challenging” or is it “interesting”.

3. Read, listen and discuss.


Practical exercises

  1. Compare Courbet: the young ladies of Seine 1857 with Delaroche The execution of Lady Jane Grey 1833 and Manet Olympia 1863
  2. Compare Manet Olympia with Titian Venus of Urbino 1588 and Renoir le Moulin de Gallette and Monet Sunrise1872.
  3. Claude Monet Bathers at La Grenouillere 1869; Renoir La Grenouillere 1869
  4. Paul Cezanne Bay of L’Estraque 1879 ; Theo Van Doesburg composition 1917; Robert Delaunay The Eiffel tower 1910 and Delaunay Sun and moon 1912
  5. Monet Bathers at La Grenouillere and Seurat’s Bathers at Asnieres 1884
  6. Renoir Ball at the Moulin de la Galette 1876 with Toulouse Lautrec Ball du Moulin de la Gallette 1889
  7. Masaccio Expulsion from the garden of Eden 1425 with Edvard Munch The Scream (Der Schrei der Natur)
  8. Picasso House in a garden 1908; Demoisells d’Avignon 1907; Georges Braque The Portugese 1911; Picasso Three musicians and Picasso Guernica 1937
  9. Andre Derain The dance 1906 and Emil Nolde Dance around the golden calf
  10. Franz Marc Grazing Horses IV 1911; Tower of the blue horses 1913; Fate of the aminals 1913 and Marc Fighting forms 1914. Marc was killed at the front in 1915
  11. Delacroix Death of Sardanapalus 1827; Jean Francois Millet The Gleamers1857; Daumier the third class carriage and Millais Christ in the house of his parents 1841.
  12. Kirchner Five women in the street 1931; Duchamp L.H.O.O.Q. 1919; Hock Cut with a kitchen knife through the last Weimar Beer belly 1919.
  13. Dali the persistence of memory 1931; Andre Masson automatic drawing 1925 and Miro Catalan Landscape 1923.
  14. Tracy Emin’s sculpture My Bed (1998) with Robert Rauschenberg’s “Combine” Bed 1955; Manet’s Olympia; Francois Bouchers’s Mille O’ Murphy 1795 and Goya’s Maja 1800
  15. Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon 1907 with Jean Michel Basquiat untitled Triptych 1983
  16. Pieter Bruegel the Elder Childrens games 1560 with Andreas Gursky Chicago Board of Trade 1999
  17. Compare Shiraga’s Geki-dou Suru Aka: Dynamics of Red with Jackson Pollock Autumn Rhythm No. 30 and John chamberlain 1960 automobile parts and other metal.
  18. Anton Gaudi Casa Mila and Louis Sullivan Carson Pirie Scott and company department store Chicago
  19. Umberto Boccioni unique forms of continuity in space and Henry Moore Recumbent figure 1938
  20. Constantin Brancusi The kiss 1908 with Pottery figure group Chavinoid Peru c500-100bc
  21. Willem de kooning Gotham news 1955 an Robert Raushenberg Estate 1963
  22. Richard Hamilton Just what is it that makes today’s home so different, so appealing 1956 with Hock Cut with a kitchen knife through the last Weimar Beer belly 1919
  23. Bridget Riley Blaze 1964 and Victor Vasarely Victor Vega-Nor 1969