Mei Moses Fine Art Index up 2.3% in 2013

The Mei Moses Fine Art Index for 2013 offers interesting reading for those keen to get a handle on emergent trends within the art market .

The index as a whole grew 2.3% in value during 2013, reflecting a year in which numerous records were broken and the Chinese market began to show signs of recovery.

Bacon Freud triptych
Francis Bacon's Three Studies of Lucian Freud became the most valuable piece of art ever auctioned, in 2013

Perhaps unsurprisingly the most significant growth was evident in the post-war and contemporary art bracket, which saw sales increase by 10.6%.

There were a string of high profile sales in the sector in 2013, including a new record set for the most valuable work of art ever auctioned, courtesy of Francis Bacon.

Work from the impressionist and modern era also ended the year in the black, with the index showing growth of 1.3% over last year.  

Old master and 19th century paintings, conversely, saw a drop of 14.2% in value ast year - although this is less likely to be a cause for concern for collectors of art from this era as it appears.

While contemporary art attracts investors eager to take advantage of the huge returns on offer, collectors of old masters tend to be driven less by financial motivations.

As Christopher Apostle, head of old master paintings at Sotheby's, told the New York Observer: "Maybe I'm in cloud cuckoo crazy land and I'm crazy, but I think most people are buying because they love the art and they plan to hold on to it.

"Certainly people don't want to make silly purchases, but I don't think people are so motivated by investment as they are about the love of the art."

Traditional Chinese artworks had a strong year - up 12.5% - as the country's increasing number of wealthy individuals continue to buoy the market.

You can read our review of the biggest art sales of 2013 here.

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