One suburb with biggest online art sales

Residents of the Melbourne suburb of Richmond have topped the national charts as the biggest buyers of artworks online.

Bluethumb, the largest online art retailer in Australia, sold more than 14,000 artworks last year, after starting up a decade ago in competition with traditional galleries.

Richmond was followed by the Brisbane suburb of Kenmore and then Northwood on Sydney's lower north shore.

But are residents of these locations more arty than other Australians, or just more prone to clicking "add to cart"?

Ironically, Richmond's top result may actually be due to the platform opening a regular bricks-and-mortar gallery in the suburb, Bluethumb's Jarrod Purchase says.

One of its first shows featured 20 years of selected artworks by painter Ken Done.

Patrons tend to visit the Richmond gallery and later decide to buy art online, with the platform targeting buyers who might be intimidated by a regular commercial gallery.

"We don't look down our noses at people ... we're not that kind of snobby brand, we want to make art accessible," Mr Purchase told AAP.

The answer may also be that people were simply faced with blank wall space, which is typically the main trigger for online art buying.

NSW and Victoria each comprised just under a third of national sales on the Bluethumb site, followed by Queensland with 16 per cent.

There were some surprising results, with Ballarat suburb Brown Hill among the top locations for art purchases, and Toowoomba suburb Athol coming second on the list of Queensland's top buyers.

Top suburbs for Bluethumb online art sales:

* Victoria: Richmond

* NSW: Northwood

* Queensland: Kenmore

* South Australia: Malvern

* West Australia: Hazelmere

* Tasmania: Norwood

* ACT: Downer

*NT: Darwin

Source: Bluethumb