Color Intensity Variations and Art Prices: An Examination of Latin American Art
51 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2020
Date Written: December 31, 2019
Most existing literature has ignored the potential effects that color intensity may have on art prices (bearing a few recent exceptions). We examine 1,627 paintings executed by the “Big five” Latin American artists (Rivera, Tamayo, Lam, Matta, and Botero) and sold at Sotheby’s and Christie’s between 2003 and 2017 to analyze this impact. We find strong evidence indicating that paintings that are more intense in color fetch higher prices, but only up to a certain degree (paintings whose color is “too intense”, “too vivid” or “too dark” actually fetch lower prices). To the best of our knowledge, these results are the first to confirm, for the case of the art market, early experimental evidence in the psychology literature pointing to the existence of an inverse “U” pattern on the preferences for color intensity. Our findings have implications for other areas such as psychology and consumer behavior.
Keywords: Art returns, hedonic pricing model, Latin American art, RGB, Lab, color intensity
JEL Classification: C23, G12, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation