Data is Difficult - Just Ask Picasso

Data is difficult because of the painstaking detail required to achieve the accuracy and consistency that makes it valuable - and useful.  

Pablo Picasso ,  Le Marin , oil on canvas, signed 'Picasso' at lower left, dated '28.10.43' verso, 51 x 31 7/8 inches.

Pablo Picasso, Le Marin, oil on canvas, signed 'Picasso' at lower left, dated '28.10.43' verso, 51 x 31 7/8 inches.

Pablo Picasso is unmistakably one of the most recognized and renowned artists in history.  But our recent look at Picasso data from the top ten auction houses shows incredible discrepancy on his most basic information.

We found 15 different and incorrect variations of his birth country, and birth and death dates.

Listed birth dates range from 1019 to 1889. Death dates from 1970 to 1983. It's unclear if he was born in Spain, France, or the United States.

In other words, the primary data sources on which the art industry relies are neither accurate nor consistent.

This is devastating when modern technology is applied to this information, compounding errors and inconsistencies.

So instead of one artist named Pablo Picasso, it seems there are 15 separate Picasso profiles — each containing various pieces of his work. If you are using one of these inaccurate subsets to assess a comparable work, the result may be significantly skewed.

This seems unbelievable to us. That's why we created the first universal and standardized art database. It’s this database that powers ARTBnk Real Time Valuations (RTV) and allows ARTBnk to provide you with the accurate information you need about your works of art.

And for the record, Mr. Picasso was born in Spain and lived from 1881 to 1973.