How to Find the Next Record-Breaking Masterpiece with ArtViva

So you’ve been on one or two Florence tours. You love the paintings, the sculptures, the architecture and the ambiance. Have you ever considered learning how to make money from your passion? This November Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi was sold at auction for a staggering $450.3 million.

If you’ve ever wondered how one becomes a collector or how one can make money from paintings, then you should book one of the experiences that we have put together to introduce you to this world of private collecting.


Who Can Be a Collector?

The very lucky vendor of the Leonardo was Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch who owns a fertiliser business. He acquired much of his collection through his relationship with a now-discredited Parisian dealer called Yves Bouvier.

While Rybolovlev’s profile is not uncommon for high-end, record-breaking and eye-watering purchases like this, potential collectors with more modest means should not be put off. There are plenty of artistic niches that remain unexploited.


Buying Versus Collecting

Those who buy creative works are generally motivated by random preferences that are often based on personal and emotional decisions. Those who collect, while they certainly love their acquisitions, take a more long-term, strategic approach to selecting their purchases.

Budding connoisseurs, who have had their fill of the more traditional Florence tours, should consider our Private Tour with the Da Vinci Code Art Sleuth. Leading you on a two-hour guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery, this expert provides tips and ideas on how to start building your own private collection. After a lifelong career dedicated to examining Renaissance masterpieces for authenticity, his perspective on collecting (both large and small scale) is invaluable.

Gleaning information from the experts is only part of the educational process. If you want to be a collector as opposed to a buyer, the key is research. You must do your homework on every piece that you think you want to acquire. This includes understanding the market in which you are dabbling by using resources such as Blouin’s Sales Index.

You should also plan to spend time in fairs, galleries, auction houses and museums. Books and online resources will also help you build up the background knowledge that you’ll need to make informed decisions.


Spotting a Sound Investment

Once you’ve found a work that you want to collect, you’ll need to make sure that it is a sound investment. Unfortunately forgeries and misattributions are all too common – and navigating a way around these minefields requires experience. If you are starting out on your journey in connoisseurship, you will probably have to rely on experts to advise you when you need to assess a piece.

In addition to our Florence tours, which focus on developing your breadth of knowledge of the Florentine artistic scene, we also offer a private lesson with our art expert. He provides an intensive hour’s coaching in the forensics used to determine a painting’s authenticity. You’ll come away with a better understanding of how to identify a forgery and with tips on spotting those gems that lie hidden under a later painting.


The Art of Collecting Art

A successful collection needs to fulfil at least three criteria:

  • The works that you collect must appeal to you aesthetically – after all, your collection should reflect your passion.
  • Each individual piece that you acquire should fulfil a role that enhances the cohesion and development of your collection’s theme.
  • The works must have some level of investment value.


Collecting art is an art, not a science. That’s what makes it a delight and a challenge rolled into a potentially profitable endeavor.

If you are interested in learning more about this process from an expert who has devoted his career to examining such collections, then get in touch with us to book one of these exclusive experiences.


Some of the Practical Stuff

We offer two highly recommended experiences that are led by our favourite expert.


A Private Tour with the Da Vinci Code Art Sleuth

Duration: 2 hours

Suitable For: Culture Lovers, Exclusive Experiences

Included: Private tour for 1-5 people, pre-reserved tickets to the Uffizi Gallery, entry fees to the Palazzo Vecchio


For Art Connoisseurs: How to Buy a Masterpiece

Duration: 1 hour

Suitable For: Culture Lovers, Exclusive Experiences

Included: Private lesson and guided tour for 1-5 people, pre-reserved tickets to the Uffizi Gallery



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