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or perhaps a third: apples and oranges. paintings (art) is a free agent activity and beholding to no one functionally and only comparable to another painting (art object). its not an applied art like architecture, music, dance, literature, ceramics, weaving, etc. ( im taking a little license here mixing dance music weaving and ceramics but it has to be said.) arnt corbusiers undervalued as architecture and paintings overvalued as art?
The top floor of Corbusier’s Villa Stein (one of perhaps the top 500 most important houses of the late 19th/early 20th centuries - i.e. a Van Gogh of houses) is for sale for the same price per sq.ft. (approx $1400) as buildings in the same area of suburban Paris, designed by nobody in particular. Meanwhile, Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet sold for an inflation adjusted price of $136 million yet a poster of similar square footage and style costs around $10.
In other words, a work of art that you can actually live in has zero premium over a commodity item, but one that you can look at has a premium factor of 13 million over a commodity one.
There are 2 possible conclusions: architecture is vastly under valued or painting prices are almost entirely irrational.