We analyze art pricing in a unique dataset on Madrid inventories between 1600 and 1750. We estimate a price index for the Spanish art market that is used for a general historical analysis of art during this period, showing a large increase in the real price of paintings during the XVII century. Then we examine the price differential between domestic and foreign paintings: At the beginning of the century domestic production was priced substantially below imported paintings, but the price gap was gradually reduced during the century. We argue that such a price convergence was not the fruit of variations in real exchange rate, relative supply or home bias, but was associated with increasing prices for the new domestic painters of the XVII century. Increasing remuneration for painting may have induced artistic innovations by domestic producers and created the conditions for the development of the Siglo de Oro of Spanish art.
- International trade of paintings
- Lopez hypothesis
- Schumpeterian hypothesis