On January 12, 2019, the original painting for Burn Bright by Scott Murphy was sold on the MTG Art Market for $4100.

The Facts

Burn Bright by Scott Murphy, oil on panel, 10.25” x 14”

Burn Bright by Scott Murphy is a work of oil on panel measuring 10.25 inches by 14 inches. It was sold exclusively on the MTG Art Market by Mike Linnemann acting as agent for the artist.

The card is a common from Magic’s latest expansion, Ravnica Allegiance, and is set to see play in both Ravnica Allegiance Limited and most likely in some variations of Mono-Red Pauper decks.

A sketch does exist and was sold to the purchaser of the final painting.

The Hammer

The sale of this painting was a wild ride of a four day auction. It began, as Linnemann often does, in search of a $100 opening bid. The piece also began with a reserve “so Scott doesn’t lose his shirt.” Linnemann was speaking to the fact that in some cases, even exceptional pieces of art can fall short of their expected realization, and it could happen for any number or combination of reasons. This happens less often than it used to, but it does indeed still happen.

All of that said, in less than half an hour a $2,000 private bid was received. 24 hours later the bid was pushed to $3,000, and a flurry of other private bids pushed the price to $4,000 the day after that. One more bid elevated the painting on its selling price, and it achieved a final hammer of $4,100.

No one predicted such fevered bidding, and it seemed every private bid further fanned the flames of the sale. Let’s take a closer look at this exceptional painting and see what all the action is about.

The Art

This was the preview of how the images appeared on Facebook. Notice the one in the center.

This was the preview of how the images appeared on Facebook. Notice the one in the center.

That is Elisabeth Elvira Alba, fantasy artist and Scott’s wife. Being married to an artist means you’re often the subject of their reference photos, and when you are both artists, as is the case here, you can create incredible reference shots like this one. To see more about how they work together, check out the fascinating New York Times interview with them both about this very subject.

Look at the side by side for Burn Bright:

Scott has executed this painting wonderfully, from the conveyance of overall raw emotion to the fire in her eye, both literally and figuratively. This illustration reads exactly as it should both at card size and in full, and tells us everything we need to know about being a member of the Gruul Clans. Burn Bright is Murphy’s current masterwork, and I would expect it to be in the conversation for recognition come the end of the year. I love seeing the hard work of artists rewarded, and the wild success of this auction makes me a happy little art writer and member of this great community.

Rayo, Scott & Elisabeth’s goodboy pupper, alongside Burn Bright

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