During renovation work in a kitchen, an elderly French woman stumbled across a dusty old painting stored above the old-fashioned stove. The old picture was put down as rubbish and was destined for the wheely bin. We may never know when the penny dropped for her, but at some point, she decided to have it looked at before the irreversible action. A local expert was called in to have a look and they decided it was likely a genuine artwork from a thousand years ago. Once it was assessed properly, the expert proved that it was a missing masterpiece by the Italian painter Cimabue.
The mosaic maker and painter from Florence lived between 1240 and 1300. He is known as part of the Italo-Byzantine period. Credited with being the first major influence of the day to move away from the traditional Byzantine schema, Cimabue helped to bring in a more diverse and creative edge when depicting scenes from literature. A heavy influence of religious thought dominated the scope of what artists were doing at the time, and Cimabue was no different in that he is best known for his iconography.
Christ Mocked is one of the eight panels from a multi-panelled fresco of which five are still at large. The image shows Jesus on his way to the Crucifixion as members of the public amuse themselves on his story and his fate. Painted on a poplar wood panel with a gold-leaf background, the traditional and exquisite style is an ideal example of the era’s work. Discovering the poignant image and rescuing it from its fate in the heat of family cooking, it’s remarkable that the work is still in good condition.
When the lost Cimabue was discovered in the old French house, it was snapped into auction. Several interested parties showed up to try their luck at the painting, which was valued at around 400,000 Euros. One of the biggest names present was The Louvre, the world-famous French museum of art. However, when the bidding began it became clear that public funded resources were out of their league when it came to the missing masterpiece. The painting eventually sold for 24 million Euros.
The story didn’t end there, though, as the French government stepped in to attempt to secure the work. The Minister for Culture declared the work to be a national treasure and applied an embargo on its export. This meant that the new owner was unable to take their new painting home. The Louvre was given a timeline of 30 months to raise the money to outbid the auction winner by the state secretary at which their patrons came to life. With the reward of tax breaks, several people donated money to the museum in a hope to raise the funds. Eventually, they managed to raise enough to buy the painting from the owner, probably for a profit, and keep the painting in France.
Christ Mocked will be on display in The Louvre in 2025. Two days after the sale of the painting for the astonishing sum of money, which put the work in the same graph as Da Vinci and Raphael, the elderly French woman died. It’s sad to know that she’ll never enjoy her fortune, let’s hope that she had grandchildren who can enjoy it in her name.
How To Solve Problems And Provide For Your Family By Turning Your Creativity Into The World’s Opportunity
A lot of us are struggling these days. If it’s not with the fast pace of career and family balance, it’s the far-too-steep slope that we must climb to reach it. The paths laid out for us are many and yet they each require a particular mentality that we may be unsure of. Sometimes we find that we are unsuitable for many or even most of the opportunities that people have provided us with. Maybe we can sense a bad deal when we see one and we see them everywhere. A creative person may feel compelled to work on things in their own way which can be problematic in the modern workplace. Finding opportunities that suit a creative person can be difficult as novelty always starts off small. Even if we mass produce a novelty idea or item, the public opinion will be small.
Communicating the value of creative ideas requires us to have a fundamental understanding of the problem we are solving. If we use what we have at our disposal, be it time, material, knowledge, mental ability, or any combination of these things, to solve known problems that benefit the wider community, then a business model can work. The necessity of any business is to fulfil a need for a price that is competitive with society at large. We need to think creatively to redefine solutions and problems that suit people more accurately than other services. Not only do we limit current competition, but we also provide unique factors that can change the industry over time.
When going into business, the thing to remember that happiness and contentment are what you are selling. The services and items on offer are tools for us to bring that about. We exchange contentment for contentment, so the object is to be rewarded in kind. We ask for money if we need to, or a fair provision of service that we would otherwise not receive. Sometimes the largest issues in a community are based on a lack of money and a lack of social leverage, meaning that those perhaps we are best to serve are unable to respond in any kind at all. This means we require a third party that does provide financial or social rewards. The most obvious example of this is a charity. This is how business is done in the modern world.
To achieve authority status in your chosen area of problem solving, it’s necessary to dedicate your whole mind to the problem. A lot of information is likely already available about your chosen problem and the methods in which is has been solved before. If the problem is new, then we can find similarities in other solutions that we can use as metaphorical tools to explore our own example. Having the right solution is only part of the equation as well. To have people be willing to give us a chance, being an authority will only get us so far. We must be easy to talk to, interact with, and a pleasure to spend time with. When you can make your time worth rewards, either financial, social, or both, then you will find making progress natural.
A solution that people can understand means making it simple to apply. If we are a learned expert on a subject, it may become more difficult to see the hurdles in the thought process you’re offering. When choosing solutions to problems and finding ways to provide for us in other ways, people generally choose the easiest and most rewarding option. In general terms, the higher the cost, the higher the quality of service and item. This is because to provide excellence and ease of use, a lot of work is done, and the best ingredients are used. When we pay more for something we generally expect to have a better product because of it. Sometimes sellers use this logic to make products appear better than they are.
When establishing yourself as a legitimate source of business and therefore solutions to people's problems, its important to not leave people feeling cheated. This means that using psychology to sell things that people don’t want or at a price that is out of balance will ultimately result in unfriendly feelings and mistrust towards you. When a community loses trust in you then they will no longer feel your services are of any value. The advert and the assurance will mean nothing to them because they don’t know if they should believe it. We can see this in action when politicians draw rosy pictures of rational and functional society when in fact it’s crumbling around them. It’s not long until their narrative no longer makes any sense when compared to reality and the population loses trust in them.
To build trust from a community that doesn’t know if you deserve it, it’s necessary to show that you are present not only to serve yourself but to serve others too. To become trusted and accepted by the wider ecosystem of finance, service, and production, it’s important to be of real benefit to others as much as you are yourself. If a person is unable to look after others or themselves, it becomes unattractive for business. They offer services that do not match the market because the effort and intention to provide is missing. If a person can’t look out for your interests or their own interests, then the service they provide can’t be guaranteed to be adequate.
Business must be beneficial to society, not just for the customer and the seller. If the solution to a problem creates more problems, then it’s not a good service. The nature of modern business gives rise to the need to be socially responsible as well as profitable. Making a profit means more jobs for people and more money sent to governments for public services. Provided the money is made fairly and without causing harm to those around it, it’s a good thing. Our creative solutions and abilities are the tools we have to apply ourselves in wealth generation for ourselves and those around us.
Wealth isn’t everything, it’s not the goal. Our problem is in security and in desire. We use money to enable security for ourselves and our loved ones. We also use it to get what we want in life. This is the experience of ownership or time spent. The attraction of money is because of the ability it has to get what we want. It’s power, and in the right hands, it can provide for everyone. When used wisely and creatively, we can use our financial ability to make life better for the community we work in and live in. Making a fair wage is how we get along in society, as the world is prepared for us, and we are prepared for the world. Our ability to solve problems for people and provide genuinely positive experiences is a valuable resource that we can use to fulfil our obligations.
To do this properly, we must accept that we need education. We’re not born into any skill and even highly talented people spend a long time practicing and learning how to do what they do so well. If we want to stand among the talented ones, then we must strive and work as hard to be as reliable as they are in the field we choose. This is why choosing a field that we enjoy working with is essential because to make work for you in your own way then it will take a lot of time, most of which will be unpaid. Doing things in the way other people want it done will earn you money faster, so only follow your creative path if you are prepared to take that route. Sometimes, though, it’s the only route we have. Only when we’ve learned the skills and practiced them until they become a talent will our ability be worth paying for.
Making people happy is what problem solving is all about. If we can make people happy with our skills without making other people directly unhappy, then we have a great business. What is directly unhappy? Some people will just not like you. They might see you as a threat to their business, or a threat to their social status. Overseeing a business is not a job that comes without its pitfalls. Some people have predefined assumptions about businesspeople and those of us who have studied marketing. If you are in the business of selling products, services, or both then marketing is essential reading. Directly making people unhappy involves action that is inconsiderate of their freedoms and rights to thrive. Antisocial business is not good marketing.
A service mindset with a creative attitude and a willingness to look after yourself and others in equal amounts will be the foundation to your creative journey. Once you’ve established trust, authority, a genuine solution to a genuine problem, and a way of benefitting from it personally, your business model is ready to go. Naturally, we need continual maintenance, an eye for new growth and necessary cuts, and a continual process of grounding and reassessing the situation. A creative life is well within reach.
If you want to learn more, why not try Principles and Practice of Marketing by Professor David Jobber and Fiona Ellis-Chadwick
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