The Nuances of

Animal Portraits, Understanding Their Value

Animal portraits are everywhere, with some of the most popular subjects being household and farm critters such as dogs, cats, and horses. However, why are such examples of image media so prevalent in the first place? Why can they be found everywhere, whether you are in your own city or when you go on an Amsterdam Holiday? The answer can be a bit complicated, but it basically has something to do with what they represent.

With art being art, it’s rather difficult to expect anyone to clearly provide the reasons why animal portraits have such value to people and to collectors. Of course, they don’t have nearly the same monetary significance as something like the Mona Lisa, but some of them have historically been sold for a hefty sum. There’s also the practice of painting one’s pet for personal keeping to consider. The question now is how anyone can justify spending so much for them.


It might not need saying, but art can often be as much about symbolism as it is a representation of an actual thing. Any fan of the arts will already be quite familiar with this, since any scholar worth their salt will already know that The Thinker is not about thinking and The Last Supper is not about eating. The same goes for animal portraits.
Depending on the subject, the animal could convey different meanings or emotions. Horses can symbolize energy while dogs can symbolize loyalty. Birds can mean freedom while wilder beasts can mean courage or ferocity. If these symbolisms speak to the collector or the buyer, they won’t have any trouble paying for the price of such work. It’s basically similar to how you would be glad to pay the fee to see the Amsterdam Top Sightseeing spots you’ve always dreamed of.


The artist’s name could also be enough of a reason to buy an animal portrait at exorbitant prices. This goes double for works that were either thought to have been lost or are particularly storied. Artwork with stories are often quite valuable.

Sentimental Value

Some buyers would often spend for an animal portrait if it once belonged to their family or to someone they loved. In such cases, the portrait is not itself what is being paid for but the emotion that goes with it.


Some paintings also speak to buyers on a level that is difficult to describe. Beyond symbolism, there could be a connection between the animal portrait and the client that transcends common sense. It could also be something that they have already seen in the past and have always dreamed of getting.

Personal Collection

Finally, there are those who commission animal portraits of their beloved pets. As everyone already knows, furry friends will not be around forever. Having their likeness painted is an excellent way of preserving their memory even as their bodies turn to dust. Animal portraits are also more valuable than pictures, which makes them less likely to be misplaced or lost.

Painting About Painting

Through its art collection, Simmons & Simmons is committed to collecting quality work by young artists based in the communities in which we work. This adds an extra dimension to our working lives, knowing that the artists whose work we encounter on a daily basis might share the same urban context.

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