The Artist’s Resale Right entitles artists to up to 4% of the proceeds
when their work is resold for at least €1,000 by an auctioneer or
dealer. In 2012 it was extended to works of deceased artists still in
copyright, 70 years after their death. Royalties are capped at €12,500,
modest for works that are sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Hambling, who will be exhibiting her new paintings at the NationalWell of course she may feel like that. But does it make it right, her feeling like that?
Gallery next month, said: “If a piece of my work sold in the 1970s for
£500, and it now changes hands at £2,000, of course I feel that I should
see a bit of that.”
Once a person has sold something, whether it be art or other merchandise, sold it without reservation or stipulation, how can they be entitled to a portion of the proceeds of any future sale?
Let's take another situation. I build a home. I pay for the plans, the construction materials and costs, and the interior design. It is my home. I sell that home to someone else, and might make a profit on that sale. That is my reward. Now just imagine the furor if I was to claim a right to a portion of the sale proceeds for every future sale of that home, for my entire life and 70 years beyond.
And, as someone in the comments mentioned: what of the power of inflation and comparative purchasing powers. If I bought it 30 years ago for x dollars, and sell it on today for x*4 dollars, is it really that much more in relative terms? And what of my costs of maintaining that bit of art for those 30 years? Keeping it insured, housed safely.
No. Once a thing is sold, it is sold.