Czechia’s art market grew significantly in 2022, breaching several records

Bohumil Kubišta - 'Old Prague Motif'

Czechia’s art market is growing fast. According to art website Art+ the average cost of a painting sold at auction rose over the past 10 years by 10 percent. Last year also saw several records being broken, whether it be the sale of the most expensive painting ever in Czech history, or the largest ever revenues registered at the country’s auction houses.

The Czech art market reached a turnover of CZK 1.65 billion last year, a 10 percent rise when compared with 2021. This in contrast to the country’s struggling post-Covid economy, which has been hit by the energy crisis and wider consequences of Russia’s war on Ukraine. According to Art+, this is also down to investors seeking to protect themselves from rampant inflation.

The greatest auction event to take place last year was the sale of expressionist and cubist painter Bohumil Kubišta’s painting Staropražský motiv (Old Prague motif) for a record CZK 123.6 million. It became the first painting to breach the CZK 100 million mark in the country’s history, the art website writes.

Photo: Lucie Fürstová,  Czech Radio

Meanwhile, a further 23 paintings sold for more than CZK 10 million. Painting sale revenues thus grew by CZK 68 million to a total of 560 million. Nevertheless, the domestic art market remains relatively small when compared its Western counterparts, with sales of close to 400 single high-value items being responsible for three quarters of the total annual revenue.

Those who buy art in Czechia are people who are growing wealthier, the news site writes, arguing that the high amounts of money that buyers are willing to spend are also indicative of a general shortage of supply on the Czech art market.