What If Art Was Valued By Surface Area?

Sometimes a question arises that we just can’t ignore…

Usually this happens on our morning team catch-ups and often it has absolutely nothing to do with science.

So, this is a little happy science place for all those unanswered questions — now answered in beautiful data-viz style!

On this occasion, the question was about art.


The debate about the most talented artist of all time has been raging on for hundreds of years.

Who uses the finest colours? Whose brush strokes are the most delicate? Whose canvas can evoke tears from even the sturdiest of noblemen!?

But have you ever wondered which artist was the most efficient? Probably not, huh?

By that we mean: which artist has produced the most value for their paintings per cm squared? Whose paint is worth the most?

We did the maths, we did the visualizing. This not-so-age-old question now, at least, has an answer.

Data presented from the most top 50 most valuable paintings (adjusted to current currency) as of 2022.

Source: [last accessed April 2022]



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