Founder and Editor-in-chief of United Art Rating,

Chairman of Artists Trade Union of Russia

Prof. Dr. S.V. Zagraevsky


 Moscow, August 5, 1999

(edited since June 20, 2019)


1. United Art Rating is published as a periodical reference book, which is a registered mass media (registration certificate PI ¹ 1-00213 dated February 2, 2001) and is published in accordance with the Russian Federation law “On mass media”.


2. The Editorial board of the reference book “United Art rating” acts according to the law “On mass media” and is formed of the members of the Rating Centre of Artists Trade Union of Russia.


3. The Rating Centre of Artists Trade Union of Russia has a status of an independent professional jury, free in its judges and estimations. According to the Article 5 of Russian Federation law “On trade unions, their rights and guarantees of activity”, trade unions are independent in their acts from the executive state authorities, local administrations, political parties and other social integrations, are nor accountable to them, nor subsidiary.


4. The aim of the Rating Centre is to work on United Art Rating in united nomination “Artists”, including:

– artists of 2 dimensions (painters, graphic and poster artists, photographers, theatre decorators, batik painters, illustrators, animators, etc.);

– artists of 3 dimensions (sculptors, jewelers, ceramists, authors of installations etc.),

-- artists of 4-dimensional continuum (authors of performances, happenings, videoinstallations etc.),

in other nominations, and also on the pricing recommendations for fine art (see Application 3).


5. United Art Rating includes:

– Russian Art Rating – united Rating of the artists of XVIII–XXI centuries, who work, worked or were born in the territory of Russian Empire, the USSR, Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union republics.

– International Art Rating – all-world Rating of artists of XVIII–XXI centuries, forming the world art heritage.

The principles of rating definition are same in both sections.


6. The integration of contemporary artists and masters of XVIII–XX centuries in United Art Rating solves the following problems:

– cultural-historical: creation of the broad informational base about artists and fixing a position for each artist in the history of art;

– social: protection of artists and customers from abusive transactions;

– macroeconomic: stabilization of the market of contemporary art by its correlation with the antique market and giving pricing recommendations;

– educational: overcoming of “a psychological barrier” between contemporary art and “old masters”;

– international: comparing of arts of different nations and countries.


7. United Art Rating has levels from 1 to 10, distinguished in descending rating order.

The highest levels are divided into the categories “A” and “B”. The difference between them is conventional and consists in relation to the art market:

– an artist of “A” category (designation of the first letter of the word “Avant-garde”) is virtually not oriented to the market’s demand.

– an artist of “B” category (designation of the first letter of the phrase “Be in demand”) is mainly oriented to the market condition demand.

The artists, referred to “A” and “B” categories, at the correspondent levels have the same rating.

Description of the rating categories is given in Application 2.


8. The section “Russian Art Rating” includes the artists of levels from 1 to 6, the section “International Art Rating” – the artists of levels from 1 to 3.


9. Defining rating categories is made on the basis of all available for the Rating Centre open information about works of art, biographies, expositions, collections and sales of works, catalogues and Internet and press publications, art historians’ and art-managers’ opinions, public opinion polls, any other open and available information.

Information of confidential character, making up a private, commercial or state secret, can’t serve the basis for rate defining.


10. While rating the priority is given to the art level of works, their humanistic significance. Other criterions are professionalism, exhibition activity, availability of works in museums, their recognition by the public, galleries and art critics, social and civil significance of works, merchantability and price level of works of art.


11. The basic principles of artists’ rating.

11.1. In the process of referring an artist to one or another rating category both creative and “market” criteria are used (see p. 10).

11.2. Style on its own account doesn’t serve a criterion for rating. Artists of any style, trend and school are neighbours in all the rating categories.

11.3. An artist’s professionalism is considered to be the ability to use necessary means of plastic arts for achievement of a creative aim.

11.4. Categories “1” and “1A” are virtually the same, and the main difference between them is a conventional factor of time testing.

11.5. If there is an art-manager, who “advances” one or another artist, it may serve a reason for his increase in rating.

11.6. Pricing policy of an artist, his heritors or managers is an essential, but not a key factor in rating.

11.7. A stable high price of works may serve a reason for increase in rating.

11.8. State and social awards, prizes, statuses, ranks, titles and positions of an artist are taken into consideration while ranking, but cannot serve a self-sufficient reason for increasing or decreasing in rating. This also concerns artists’ achievements in other scopes of activity.

11.9. An artist’s or his heritors’ dishonorable conduct towards the galleries and art-managers may serve a reason for decrease in rating.

11.10. Following the course of an established tradition, working in conformity with a state or social order, an artist is referred to “B” category.

11.11. Innovators of their time are referred to “A” category.

11.12. A successful creative idea cannot serve a reason for referring to “A” category without being time-tested. By continuous exploitation of such an idea for market purposes an artist can be referred to “B” category.

11.13. Probably an artist imitates someone unwittingly. In this case poor professionalism or creative immaturity takes place, so the category decreases.

11.14. The presence of an artist’s works in museums may serve a reason for increase in rating in case if it is known, that the initiative for works’ acquisition was from museums themselves, but was not “organized” by an artist, his heritors or managers.

11.15. Exhibition and creative passivity of an artist may serve a reason for decrease in his rating in case if it has led to the loss of publicity. A serious illness, depriving an artist from a possibility to work, does not lead to decrease in rating.


12. With the aim of rating categories regulations of living and working artists the age limits are defined. Cannot be given:

– rating level 1 – to living and working artists;

– rating levels 2-4 – to artists younger than 50 years old;

– rating level 5 – to artists younger than 35 years old;

– rating levels 6-8 – to artists younger than 25 years old.

In the range of the indicated age limits an artist’s age is considered in rating, but cannot be a self-sufficient reason for increase or decrease in rating.

In exceptional cases the Rating Center may brake the age limits.


13. All the artists, included in United Art Rating, are held in equal respect. Any rating category, independent of its level, is a professional vocation.


14. Including an artist to United Art Rating is made at the discretion of the Editorial Board and the Rating Centre as the integration of art historians and art-critics who possess the rights of independent judgments about artists and works of art (pp. 1, 4 and 5 of Article 29 of the Constitution of Russia).

As the information, on the basis of which rate defining of an artist is made, is not confidential (its recourses are defined in p. 7), there is no need of any personal application, agreement or notification of artists, their inheritors or managers (Articles 1, 41, p. 1 of Article 47 of Russian Federation law “On mass media”).


15. In case of disagreement of an artist, his heritors or managers with an assigned rating, they have a right to bring additional information to the Rating Centre, information that gives an opportunity to specify a given rating if possible.

Claiming about an artist’s excluding from United Art Rating for the reason of disagreement with a given rating category, as a rule, is not regarded, as the Rating Centre has a right to include artists in United Art Rating and give them rating categories exclusively at its own discretion (see p. 14). The freedom of the Rating Centre actions is protected by the Russian Federation constitution and the laws: “On trade unions, their rights and guarantees of activity” and “On mass media”.


16. By ethic reasons the Rating Centre work is confidential, information about its progress and recourses of information of the Rating Centre members is not recorded, is confidential and is not published.

The resualts of the Rating Centre’s work are published in the reference book “United Art Rating”.

 By ethic reasons the Rating Centre members are indicated in the reference book “United Art Rating” (Application 1) in alphabetical order, without indication of state, social or scientific titles, degrees, positions or awards.


17. United Art Rating is constantly changed, refined and supplemented.

Changes in rating categories, specified names and dates are registered in the computer database of Artists trade union and published in the next edition of the reference book “United Art Rating”.


18. Artists Trade Union gives out certificates about the rating of an artist.


19. For the reason that United Art Rating is constantly changed, refined and supplemented, in case of divergence of rating categories in different documents and publications the following priority is made (in descending order):

1) Rating Center database (confidential information);

2) a certificate about a given rating (before the indicated expiration date);

3) the last printed edition of the reference book “United Art Rating”;

4) the last electronic edition of the reference book “United Art Rating”;

5) the previous editions of the reference book “United Art Rating”;

5) references to United Art Rating in other publications and in the Internet.


20. First and last names of artists are printed in the reference book after family (last) names.

All generic titles of artists (Count, Prince, Baron etc.) are printed only if the artist became known to public with his title.

All biographical data are given in conformity with the Gregorian calendar in format “DD.MM.YYYY”.


21. An artist, having a rating level not lower than 5, has a right to enter the membership of Artists Trade Union without consideration of his works by the Reception committee.


22. All artists, included in Russian Art Rating, are included in social project of Artists Trade Union of Russia “The Register of professional artists of Russian Empire, the USSR, Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union republics”.

All artists, included in International Art Rating, are included in Internet-project “Greatest world artists of XVIII–XXI centuries”.

In these projects the artists’ names are shown in alphabetic order without rating categories.


23. An artist including into United Art Rating and all changes of his rating category are free of any charge.


See also:

Description of Rating categories

Pricing recommendations

Rating Centre members





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