What is Value in Art

  • by

Value in the art can be defined in many ways by different artists and beholders, but in the most technical terms, it is the visible lightness and darkness of a color. Value refers to the luminosity of the art that can be measured in several ways. There are various units to measure the luminosity of art designated with electromagnetic radiation. Even a black and white picture has different shades of gray, which suggests the planes and textures of the picture. These elements define the value of art.

The subjective value of art

The term “value” is a technical term used for measuring the color in an art piece. It can be a subjective term that can determine the monetary of the art piece or its importance. Value can also determine the sentimental, traditional, cultural, or aesthetic importance of work. However, this type of value cannot be measured and is entirely subjective to people’s interpretations. People can have different views while admiring an art piece. Some art pieces can have several technical errors, but their importance in the history of different cultures can make them valuable. For example, Leonardo’s famous “Last Supper” has several technical flaws, but it has become a religious treasure to be conserved since it defined an important moment in Christianity. Christianity has made it a religious treasure. Similarly, several historical artworks in different cultures are expensive today but can have several technical flaws.

subjective value of art

The monetary value of art

The monetary value of art refers to the selling price of an art piece at any given point. The monetary value of art depends on several factors such as age, place, depiction, relation to a historical event, and also the artist who made it. However, the collectors feel that an art piece’s monetary value is also subjective and is willing to pay any price to own the artwork they find valuable as a beholder.

How to see value in art

When an artist starts painting a picture or sculpting an object, they consider all the present elements of art to complete their creation. From drawing simple lines to filling up various textures, the artist needs to define their practice. While painters like Caravaggio used the contrast of color to add value to their art, other painters like Claude Monet chose to add various ends of color values. Monet manipulated high-key color values in his works to create landscapes. It has his paintings vibrant energy. Learn about how illumination and lighting can affect value. Check out this guide:


Albert Einstein once said that we must “strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Every picture or painting will always have a value that can define its importance in different ways. While we know the price of things, we should learn to identify the value of things and find out how close our values are to others. On the contrary, Henry David Thoreau says, “There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.”