Die Kunst der Financiers

PRINCETON – Mitten in der Finanzkrise fand in London im September eine denkwürdige Veranstaltung statt. Während der Londoner Finanzdistrikt vom Zusammenbruch der Investmentbank Lehman Brothers und dem Ansturm auf die HBOS erschüttert wurde, hielt Sotheby’s eine Rekordauktion mit den Werken des Künstlers Damien Hirst ab, bei der Bruttoeinnahmen von etwa 143 Millionen Euro erzielt wurden. Im Vergleich zu den Werten, die gerade an der Wall Street vernichtet worden waren, handelt es sich dabei zwar um eine vergleichsweise geringe Summe, dennoch war diese Auktion eine bemerkenswerte Demonstration des Vertrauens in die Arbeit eines Künstlers. 

Finanzblasen wie jene, die gerade endgültig geplatzt ist, sind mit der Welt der Kunst eng verbunden. Das Florenz der Renaissance beruhte auf dem Mäzenatentum der Medici. In Venedig verwandelte man im 16. Jahrhundert den Reichtum aus dem Gewürzhandel in Gemälde von Tizian und Tintoretto.   

Das nächste große Handelszentrum der Welt war Amsterdam, wo erneut wohlhabende Bürger auf einen neuen Kunststil drängten und schließlich das Zeitalter Rembrandts hervorbrachten. Die großen Financiers des 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts wie J.P. Morgan, Henry Frick und Andrew Mellon gaben einen großen Teil ihrer Vermögen für Kunst aus.

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