El arte de las finanzas

PRINCETON – En medio de la crisis financiera de septiembre, ocurrió en Londres un hecho remarcable. Mientras el distrito financiero de Londres era sacudido por el colapso de Lehman Brothers y la corrida de HBOS, Sotheby’s organizó una subasta récord para las obras del artista Damien Hirst, que produjo una recaudación bruta de aproximadamente 200 millones de dólares. En comparación con los valores que se estaban destruyendo en Wall Street, esta cifra era apenas cambio chico, pero representó un voto de confianza notable en la obra de un artista.

Las burbujas financieras, como la que acaba de estallar definitivamente, están íntimamente relacionadas con el mundo del arte. La  Florencia del Renacimiento dependía del patronazgo de los Medici. La Venecia del siglo XVI transformó la riqueza producto del comercio de especias en las telas de Tiziano y Tintoretto.

El próximo gran centro comercial del mundo fue Ámsterdam, donde nuevamente los burgueses exitosos daban empuje a un nuevo estilo de arte y produjeron la era de Rembrandt. Los grandes financistas del siglo XIX y principios del siglo XX, hombres como J.P. Morgan, Henry Frick y Andrew Mellon, gastaron una gran parte de sus fortunas en arte.

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