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Why does a dove of peace Picasso sell for millions? How much should it cost?

Updated on October 6, 2010

What determines the value of art? Is it time? Materials? Size?

What determines the value in art? If we measure the value with the commodity of time, than we must agree that art that took the longest to create would be the most valuable. In this case, a piece of art such as the carving Stone Mountain, in Stone Mountain Georgia is extremely valuable. It took from 1916 to 1972 to complete (from concept to dedication ceremony). It would cost a million times more than any one of the 21 peace posters of Pablo Picasso’s (which took mere minutes to create).

If we decide that skill is the commodity that determines value, than we must look at some of the masters such as Michelangelo or Rodin who were truly craftsmen in their art. If vision, than we would have to include any of the amazing inventions such as the automobile (artistic vision in design and revolutionary vision in use). So where does that leave the simple line drawings in this determination of value?

When we think of Picasso’s Dove of Peace, I have to ask myself, “where is the value?” It certainly isn’t in the time; not so much in the skill; perhaps in the vision…but maybe most in the idea that is communicated. It is a simple symbol that has been used repeatedly to represent peace. What price can we put on peace? If we look at this simple work of art and are mindful of peace… for this reason alone, perhaps Picasso’s simple line drawing is the most valuable of all.


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    • profile image

      piers bateman 

      7 years ago

      Supply and demand is what runs a market. The monetary value of an art work is not a real indicator of the works artistic merit but an indication of the demand for that work usually determined by the artists fame and availability of their work.

      Why is gold so expensive? The answer is the market place. Limited availability and keen demand. If Gold was found in the same quantities as iron it would have a much much lower value. Picasso's dove was done by the famous Picasso, if it were done by Mrs Brown down the road it wouldn't rate a mention.

      Have you noticed how people want to check the signature of a work before giving an opinion on it.

      Sorry to be a realist but the monetary worth of a work of art has little to do with its artistic merit.


    • bayareagreatthing profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Bay Area California

      Peace is a priceless commodity! Thanks for your comments PiersBateman!

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      Anyone who looks at supply and demand has to consider what causes the demand. What bayareagreatthing has done is analyzed why Picasso's work is so demanded. Is it demanded because of the time put into the work? Or the imagery? His magnificent conclusion is that it's the idea of peace which this image brings that causes it to be in demand. I think his analysis is superb, and cannot be oversimplified to a simple matter of economics; for the idea of peace has the power to transform the world.

    • profile image 

      8 years ago

      Nice thoughts but the real reason picasso is worth millions is simple supply and demand. Famous artist everyone knows, huge prestige to own a work, scarcity of available work and people and corporations with the money to splurge. Sort of a sad comment on mass hysteria really.

      Same with Van Gogh, no one was interested in his work during his life,Has the general appreciation of art improved in our society? Maybe a little but the real reason is market place, famous artist lack of available works etc etc Piers Bateman

    • stars439 profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Great Hub.

    • bayareagreatthing profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Bay Area California

      I love that too! The freedom of expression- one of the greatest gifts that art gives us. Thanks DeBorrah

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      9 years ago


      Interesting hub!

      Years ago when I first saw an original Picasso; my first reaction was "I don't like it." It was during a Museum trip for my Art Appreciation Class. My teacher gasped.

      I have come to appreciate Picasso and many others. It was not at all that Picasso could not paint anything he wanted to. His gift was that he could just freely express in child like simplicity, the freedom of artistic expression via painting! To many that is worth millions of dollars.



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