Art Collecting: Building Wealth from Original Art

Art collecting is important for some people when building wealth.

This article is about a family who built an empire on creativity and new ideas during the Renaissance period.

The family in this article were extraordinary.

They lived 600 years ago. And changed western civilisation forever. Collecting art and producing astonishing creativity and driving phenomenal progress through entrepreneurial skill and creativity.

This post warns against greed, but highlights the importance of sharing art that inspires communities and influences generations for good.

Lesson 1. Develop a creative vision for people to aspire towards, emulate and admire.

“Birth of Venus” by Sandra Botticelli 1485. Uffizi, Florence. tempera on canvas 172.5 cm × 278.5 cm

Above is the iconic ‘venus painting ’ by Sandra Botticelli commissioned by the famously wealthy and extremely powerful Medici family in Italy around 1485. Located in Florence, the family produced 4 popes and 2 queens during the 14 th and 15 th centuries. Wealthy merchants who grew to power from the banking industry.

The Medici’s started out earning money by charging interest from loans. Capitalists to the extreme, they were highly skilled entrepreneurs and brilliant at art collecting.

Lesson 2. Develop an entrepreneurial spirit

However, usury was considered a sin of the highest order. Wealthy bankers were often disliked. A general distrust of riches pervaded a predominantly Christian society at the time.

Having enormous amounts of money the Medici’s became increasingly terrified of Gods judgment. So they turned to the church for peace of mind.

According to church law at the time. The Medici’s had an option to buy their way out of hell. Religious people exploited the power of art using a simple strategy. Pope’s sold the idea that wealthy merchants could…

Save their soul, only by sponsoring great monumental artworks for the church.

Lesson 3. Establish a belief system using wisdom and discernment

This manipulative strategy from Popes and the Medici’s fear of God, resulted in spectacular commissioned artwork. Family members inserted themselves into biblical frescoes on the walls of churches in Florence.

Opulent wealth, fearsome pride and powerful egos dominated the Medici family.

However, they turned Florence into a beautiful modern city bedazzled by incredible artwork like the ‘Birth of Venus’ painting above. Art collecting flourished with magnificent, grand architecture. Larger than life paintings and sensuous public sculptures. All depicting a focus on the accomplishments of humanism.

Renaissance society flaunted dangerously the pride of man.

Lesson 4. Cultivate humility .

Coming out from the dark depths of medieval times, the Renaissance flourished in creativity abounding in glorious colour and light. It was a new world of communication, with new ideas that drove cultural and commercial progress.

With the help of the Medici family, the arts led the charge providing magnificent vision designed to capture hearts and influence the masses. Creating awe and wonder for the magnificent wealth and riches expressed through creativity.

Lesson 5. Use the power of art to positively influence people.

The Italians were collectors of sculptures and paintings from the greatest artists mankind has ever known. The Uffizi gallery houses a divine collection of Renaissance art, which came mostly from the wealthy Medici’s.

This family rose from the depths of poverty, and employed famous artists to realise their grand vision. Trusted family friends like Michaelangelo, Leonardo DaVinci , Raphael and Botticelli.

Through the smart skill of art collecting, the family’s power and control over Europe grew exponentially.

Lesson 6. Control and build wealth in your family and employ trusted outsiders.

The Medici’s became rich by mastering mathematics. They were pioneers in the developing field of accountancy and excelled in opportunistic capitalism.

Their entrepreneurial skills shaped the city of Florence and their family influence can be seen all over Europe today. In fact, the Medici’s meticulous mathematical accounting practices profoundly influenced renaissance artists.

Establishing for the first time the ground breaking principles of perspective.

Lesson 7. Integrate the best ideas from other disciplines into your art

The illusion of three dimensional space in paintings fascinated Florentines and artist were commissioned to create masterpieces future generations would admire. The Italians loved art .

However, the passions of man dominated the Renaissance period. Despite the volatile and decadent hedonism that ruled Italy, western civilisation progressed in the rich opulent tastes of European people.

Rich nobles enjoyed rich foods and entertainment. Rich gifts were given. Famous artists were admired and the world was left with extraordinary artworks from the richness of mankind’s imagination.

Lesson 8. Enjoy the good times when they arrive

The Renaissance was a marvellous time in history, glorifying the noble pursuit of creativity and art collecting. I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave a message in the comments box below.

About Simon Brushfield

Simon Brushfield is an artist whose work has been described as ‘poetic, enigmatic and dreamlike’ (Michael Berry, "Selected Contemporary Artists of Australia" book). His paintings have been exhibited and sold across Australia and internationally. If you enjoyed this post, sign up to Simons VIP list and have posts sent directly to your inbox.


  1. I have learnt a lot from reading this. Thank you

  2. Dear Simon, I liked what you said…continue these kinds of articles because they are very good and useful, congratulations.
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  3. Interesting article. Enjoyed it. This interested me on twitter, as I write articles on line, and create my own art.
    Well done, will look up your stuff.
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