Masters in Modern and Contemporary Art, History of the Art Market

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Mastersin Modern and Contemporary Art, History of the Art Market

The concept of an artist transformed over time from artisans or cheaphawkers of art work into learned men who were bestowed with highprinciples of taste and beauty. This led to the conception ofideological frameworks in academic systems designed to imprint theimportance of art in society through proper means of training. One ofsuch institutions is the Royal Academy that traces its roots to thelate seventeenth century growing into a large body over thecenturies. It was divided into classes ranging from journey-menacademicians, armatures and enlightened individuals all of whom hadvested interests in art. This ideology created a psychologicalascendancy that set out standards for artists in that era overdifferent regions and cultures. They thrived in a style of gentlemanacademicians, a style that they had to be accustomed to over time. Inthe nineteenth century, cities such as Paris had become the backboneof regional art as they had put in place such systems creating wealthnot only for artists but also their economies. They were rich,fashionable, innovators and occupied the middle class in the society,living a life that was only but a dream for many people at the time1.

One of the major differences between France and the U.S is the levelintellectual creativity and cultural creations to which the Frenchhave an upper hand running down from ages ago. This factor can beseen in appreciation for artwork, architecture, cuisines, culturalinfluence in society, language preservation and general culturaldifferences that are worlds apart. The French are well known fortheir artistic nature that has been passed from one generation to theother hence preserving its authenticity and ensuring sustainability.


White, Harrison, and Cynthia White. “Roots of theNineteenth-Century Art Machine.” In Canvases and Careers:Institutional Change in the French Painting World, 1–11.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.

1 White and White, “Roots of the Nineteenth-Century Art Machine.”

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