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Can money spoil the artist? Does poverty increase an artist's work to become more successful?

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Vincent van Gogh is a genius unrecognized during his lifetime.

There is a certain stereotype that an artist should be poor, live from hand to mouth, invest all his means in art, die in poverty and receive world recognition only after death. In turn, the heirs receive huge amounts of money from the sale of works of the genius. Sound familiar?

The personality and tragic fate of Vincent van Gogh projects a certain image onto the profession of an artist. It can be noted with confidence that the case of Van Gogh is the exception rather than the rule.

Van Gogh really lived on an allowance that his brother allocated to him (the notorious 150 francs).

He spent all his money on canvases and paints.

Currently, the owners of Van Gogh's paintings, as well as the famous galleries and museums where the works of the great author are kept, are faced with the problem of preserving their canvases. Due to the fact that Vincent van Gogh could not afford to use good quality materials, it is more difficult to keep his unique works from the ravages of time.

The reason for his obsession with drawing, among other things, was illness. Van Gogh was sick with syphilis and knew that he did not have much time to leave his mark on this earth. In addition, he had mental disorders, so Vincent Van Gogh is more of an image of extreme genius than an image of the profession of an artist.

An artist is a respected and lucrative profession

The profession of painter and sculptor has been one of the most respected and highly paid since antiquity, they were close to the royal families during the Renaissance and carried out orders of the Catholic Church. During their lifetime, artists received recognition, money, various ranks and insignia from their patrons.

Money helped Edouard Manet to make a turning point in the development of art.

One of the founders of Impressionism, Edouard Manet, was the son of the head of the department of the Ministry of Justice. At first, the influential father opposed his son's passion for art, wanted him to be a lawyer. However, his father's money contributed to the development of Edouard Manet's talent, he entered the studio of the famous artist Tom Couture at that time, visited many museums and travelled a lot (Italy, Venice, Florence, Holland, Dresden, Prague, Vienna). He embodies the acquired knowledge and visions in his art.

Manet's progressive works were subjected to harsh criticism, but despite the condemnation of critics, his work gave a new life to French painting of the 19th century and largely influenced the development of art in general.

Money is the guarantee of the artist's freedom of creativity.

Thus, for an artist, having money is an opportunity for self-realization. He can free his mind from worry about them and devote himself entirely to creativity.

Pictured on the left (1) is a painting by Edouard Manet "Spring", 1881 worth $ 65 million

Pictured on the right (2) is a painting by Vincent Van Gogh "Portrait of Dr. Gachet", 1890 worth $ 82.5 million.

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