How much is my drawing worth?

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Mearto Specialist:

Anne M.

Anne has been providing collectors with fine art appraisals and authentication research for the last 10 years. She specializes in the identification of forgeries and has worked alongside some of the world's leading experts in the field of provenance research and scientific analysis. Her extensive experience includes collaborations with major museums, foundations and auction houses in Europe and the United States, ensuring the integrity of high-value transactions. As an online appraisal expert, Anne enjoys the diversity of items submitted by Mearto customers and takes pride in sharing her knowledge and passion for fine art.

Discover the Value of Your Drawing

Have you recently inherited or purchased a drawing and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of drawings. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your drawing.

One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours.

Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your drawing? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.

What is the history of drawings?

Drawing, as a form of visual expression, has been a fundamental aspect of human culture and communication since prehistoric times, with evidence of early drawings found on cave walls and ancient artifacts. These early drawings were often created using rudimentary tools like charcoal or sticks, and they depicted scenes from daily life, hunting expeditions, or religious ceremonies.

As civilizations developed and artistic techniques evolved, drawings took on various forms and purposes. In ancient Egypt, for example, drawings were primarily used for hieroglyphic writing and monumental art, decorating temple walls and tombs. The Egyptians also employed drawings in the creation of papyrus scrolls, which conveyed narratives and illustrated stories.

During the classical period in ancient Greece and Rome, drawings played a crucial role in the artistic training of painters and sculptors. Sketches and studies were made to explore composition, anatomy, and perspective, providing the foundation for more complex artworks. These drawings often depicted mythological scenes, portraits, and architectural designs.

The Middle Ages witnessed the rise of illuminated manuscripts, where intricate drawings adorned the pages of religious texts. Monks painstakingly created illuminated letters and illustrations, employing techniques such as calligraphy, gold leaf application, and vibrant pigments. These drawings not only enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the manuscripts but also conveyed religious symbolism and narrative elements.

In the Renaissance, drawings experienced a significant shift in their status and purpose. Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo utilized drawings extensively as a means of experimentation and exploration. Detailed anatomical studies, preparatory sketches for paintings and sculptures, and exquisite portrait drawings showcased the mastery of these artists. The Renaissance also saw the emergence of sketchbooks, which allowed artists to document their observations and ideas in a more personal and informal manner.

With the advent of the printing press in the 15th century, drawings played a vital role in the production of illustrations for books, scientific texts, and maps. The accuracy and precision of these drawings contributed to advancements in various fields, including anatomy, botany, and cartography.

The development of various drawing techniques, tools, and materials continued throughout the centuries, leading to the diverse array of styles and approaches seen in contemporary art. From traditional pencil and ink drawings to digital illustrations, drawings remain a versatile and expressive medium for artists to convey their ideas, emotions, and visions.

How are drawings valued?

  • Artist's Reputation: Drawings by well-known and highly regarded artists tend to command higher prices due to their historical significance and the demand associated with their name.
  • Authenticity: Expert analysis, provenance research, and authentication by reputable authorities or experts in the artist's work are essential in establishing the legitimacy of a drawing. Drawings with solid provenance and reliable documentation tend to have higher value.
  • Condition and Quality: Drawings in excellent condition, with minimal wear, fading, or restoration, are generally more highly valued. The quality of the artwork, including the artist's skill, technique, and aesthetic appeal, also contributes to its value.
  • Medium and Materials: Rare or unusual materials, such as drawings executed on vellum or using precious pigments, can increase the artwork's value.
  • Rarity and Scarcity: Drawings that are considered rare or limited in number, especially those that are significant within the artist's body of work or art historical context, are often more highly valued.
  • Market Demand and Trends: The current state of the art market, including demand and collector preferences, can affect the value of drawings. Auction records, gallery sales, and the level of interest from collectors and institutions in the artist's work can influence prices.

How does the value of a drawing by a famous artist compare to the value of a painting by the same artist?

Paintings often tend to command higher prices than drawings due to their perceived status as a more substantial and finished artwork. Paintings generally require more time, skill, and materials to create, making them relatively rarer compared to drawings. Additionally, paintings are often larger in scale and can have a more significant visual impact, which can contribute to their higher market value.

Furthermore, the perception of value in the art market is often influenced by historical precedents and market trends. Paintings have historically been considered the primary medium for significant artistic statements and have received more attention from collectors, museums, and art institutions. This historical bias, along with the limited supply of important paintings, has led to higher prices being achieved for paintings by renowned artists.

However, it's important to note that there are exceptions to this general trend, and certain drawings by famous artists can still command substantial prices. Drawings by esteemed artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, or Rembrandt, for example, are highly sought after due to their rarity and the insight they provide into the artist's creative process. Drawings can offer a glimpse into the artist's mind, showcasing their skill, spontaneity, and experimentation in a more intimate and immediate manner.

What are some of the most expensive paintings ever sold?

  • "Nu couché etude" by Amedeo Modigliani sold in 2018 for $157.2 million.
  • "Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards" by Francis Bacon sold in 2014 for $80.8 million.
  • "Head of a Young Apostle" by Raphael sold in 2020 for $47.9 million.
  • "A man in oriental costume (Study for the painting The Sultan of Morocco)" sold in 2008 for $47.6 million.
  • "Reclining Nude" by Egon Schiele sold in 2011 for $44.4 million.

What our customers say:

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I received a response and information regarding my items in less than 48 hours, which I appreciated. The appraiser was very knowledgable.

Kristal Hicks Torpey

I highly recommend Mearto if you're curious of the value or background of any item in your home.
The appraisal I received from Mearto was detailed and thorough.

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