Pictured above are the eight most expensive offerings on Amazon Art, the marketplace for high-end artwork that Amazon launched today.
Unlike the retailer’s jettisoned collaboration with auction house Sotheby’s more than a decade ago, Amazon Art is not an online auction. Instead, it works like Amazon Marketplace: The artwork is not owned by Amazon, but is being sold through the site by galleries and art dealers, which give Amazon a cut of every sale. (The startup Artsy uses a similar model for fine art sales.) Currently, over 150 galleries and dealers are listing over 40,000 pieces of art on Amazon.
Pranksters have already left fake reviews on some of the Amazon listings. On the page for Claude Monet’s Fragment de Nymphéas, part of the French impressionist’s “Water Lilies” series, a reviewer going by the name “Art Guy” writes: ”I bought this and returned it immediately. Very amateurish quality. My 9-year old son could do a better job.”
That painting was selling for $2.5 million earlier today, but is now listed as “unavailable.” Another Monet is still available for $1.45 million.