Ask A Curator

What To Know Before Buying Your First Painting

New This Week
“Yellow Floral” by Daniel O’Connor

Whether you like the idea of investing in a painting or you are searching for the perfect work to match your living room décor, the best advice is always: buy what you love.

Before starting to search for your first painting, establish your budget and stick to it.

If you have a particular space in mind for the painting you are going to buy, it is essential to measure carefully and make sure that the painting will fit.

If you are deciding between a few different paintings, go for the work that inspires in you a strong feeling. If you can imagine the painting in your home and have an instinct that this is a work you will enjoy seeing every day then proceed with confidence!

Here’s a checklist of questions to ask yourself as you make your first purchase:

    • What’s my budget?
    • Where’s it going and what do the measurements need to be?
    • What colours would work best?
    • How does the work make me feel? Or is the fact that I can’t put my finger on what it is about it that I like, exactly why I like it?

If you still feel you’d like some help with purchasing your first painting, you can contact our team of curators who offer a free Art Advisory service. For more information visit

About the Author

Rebecca Wilson is Chief Curator and VP of Art Advisory at Saatchi Art. She was formerly a Director at the Saatchi Gallery, London, where she was instrumental in the launch of the gallery's online presence. In 2007 she created New Sensations, a prize for art students which identifies and supports the most exciting emerging artists in the UK. Prior to joining the Saatchi Gallery, Rebecca worked for 14 years in book and art magazine publishing: she was editor of ArtReview, and before that deputy editor of Modern Painters. She has over 10 years of experience working with emerging artists.