"The case reveals the casual approach to the legal concept of agency"
Buyers and sellers of art in the private market (and to a lesser extent at auction) often overlook the fundamental question of "who acts for who," otherwise known as the legal concept of agency.
The distinction is crucial because an agent is a "fiduciary" of its principal and as such the highest standards at law are imposed on him. An agent owes his principal strict "fiduciary duties" including the duty of loyalty which entails not only acting in good faith in the best interests of the principal but also the duty to avoid conflicts of interest (the art world being a breeding ground for conflicts). Similarly, only an agent acting on behalf of its principal has the authority to sell an artwork and the legal title to pass ownership to the buyer (although where authority is lacking, a principal can ratify the conduct retroactively).