Mark Rothko


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Do you have a piece by Mark Rothko in your possession and would like to know its value? Our Experts will carry out a free appraisal of your piece, provide you with an estimate of the market price, and then help you to sell at the best possible price.

Status, estimation and price of the artist Mark Rothko

Price of a painting: 50,000 – 65 100,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 5,400 – 520,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 10 – 1,000 €.

Estimate of a tapestry: 9,000 – 16,000 €.

If you would like to have a Mark Rothko work appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

The youth of Mark Rothko

Marcus Rothkowitz, the naturalized American painter who is classified as an Abstract Expressionist, was born in Dvinsk, Latvia on September 25, 1903 and died in New York City on February 25, 1970.

When he was 10 years old, he migrated with his family to the United States. He studied at Yale University and stayed in the US for the rest of his life. He became an art teacher at the age of 26.

Mark Rothko and the search for a new art form

In 1940, Mark Rothko founded the Artist Union of New York. At that time, he was inspired by mythology and worked with Adolph Gottlieb. Both leant towards art where forms were reminiscent of primitive art.

By the end of the decade, Mark Rothko was moving from abstract expressionism and surrealism to a new painting style that one art critic would refer to as “painting in fields of colour”. This corresponded to Rothko’s spirit, as he was passionate about philosophy and tried to achieve certain spirituality by painting in a meditative way. He also found that American painting was reaching the point of saturation and tried to explore new themes that could have an impact on society.

Rothko’s painting pushed boundaries and got rid of the subject to show only the colour he models and layers on the canvas, sometimes monochrome, sometimes diverse, while seeking to give it a moving expression. He did so by blurring the edges of his canvases. The interest is then no longer to understand the work, but rather to feel it.

Recognition of Mark Rothko

In the 1950s, the collector Duncan Philips kickstarted Rothko’s career by buying paintings from him and organizing an exhibition. Earlier, Peggy Guggenheim had exhibited him at the Art of this Century in New York.

Mark Rothko was faced with major public commissions at the turn of the 1960s, including painting murals for Harvard University and painting monumental canvases for the Four Seasons restaurant. The MoMA even devoted a solo exhibition to him in 1961.

Mark Rothko’s paintings that have gone on sale in recent years have fetched millions. This is notably the case for the White Center painting (1950), which was sold for $72.8 million by Sotheby’s in 2007, or Orange, Red, Yellow (1961) which sold for nearly $87 million in 2012.

Recognising Mark Rothko’s signature

Like many artists, Rothko did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

experrtise signature rothko

Appraising and selling a piece by Mark Rothko

If you own a piece by Mark Rothko or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.