Mark Rothko has many paintings that are considered to be extremely valuable. When many people look at his simple paintings, they wonder why these paintings fetch so much money.
Mark Rothko’s No 6 (Violet, Green, and Red – 1951) was sold in 2014 for 140,000.000 Euro or over 184,000,000 USD. A considerable amount for any painting. Many of Mark Rothko’s paintings continue to fetch record numbers at auction houses worldwide. They are valuable, showing us what a vital artist Mark Rothko continues to be.
No 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) by Mark Rothko (1951) And Its Value
Perhaps no other Mark Rothko painting has had such intrigue associated with its purchase as No 6 (Violet, Green, and Red – 1951). In 2014, the painting was purchased for 140,000,000 euros, or at the average 2014 exchange rate of about 184,000,000 USD.
This is no doubt an astronomical amount of money for this painting. The painting is framed as 84 cm or 33 inches by 54 cm or 21 inches. In practical terms, a square inch of that painting (including the frame) is valued at over 265,000 USD.
Bouvier Affair And No Violet, Green, And Red By Mark Rothko
The No 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) was caught in an international lawsuit in 2015. The lawsuits alleged that the art dealer Yves Bouvier defrauded his clients, mainly the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.
It is thought that Yves Bouvier purchased the painting for 80,000,000 Euro or 105,000,000 USD and then turned around and sold it to Rybolovley for 140,000,000 Euro or 184,000,000 USD. That would have been a profit of over 60,000,000 Euro or over 79,000,000 USD.
The lawsuit alleges that Bouvier made billions by allowing his clients to think he acted mainly as the middleman between then and the original seller when he turned around and sold the paintings to them for a considerable profit.
Why Mark Rothko’s Paintings are Valuable
Mark Rothko’s paintings continue to demand record prices on the art market. In 2021 Harry and Linda Macklowe, a couple divorcing in New York City, had an Art collection valued at around $600 million; one of the most valuable paintings they sold was a Mark Rothko.
Here is what makes Mark Rothko’s paintings so valuable:
- Supernatural Elements – Mark Rothko’s art of rectangular floating forms and thin washes of color are said by some critics and historians to have a metaphysical element.
- Art Works About Human Feelings – Rothko said his work was about human feelings such as tragedy, ecstasy, and even doom.
- Disdain For Art Establment – During his lifetime, Mark Rothko was known for his disdain for the elite and art establishment, an interesting fact because now his paintings are being sold for record amounts.
- Mark Rothkos Life Is In Many Of The Paintings – Like many great artists, Mark Rothko’s life was marked with controversy, but many of his paintings show his emotions and life. He produced the “Black paintings” before his suicide in 1970 at age 66.
- Original Paintings Come To Life – When you view an original Mark Rothko painting up close and personal, you can see the drip marks, brush strokes, and the color and painting come to life. The human touch can be seen in the paintings, making them so real and personal.
- Paintings Transform You – When viewing the paintings up close and in person, they are not just colors on a canvas, but the washes or color, brush strokes, and even drips transform you to another realm.
- Paintings People Want To Own – The supply and demand principle is like anything in art. People want to own Mark Rothko paintings and have them in their collections. Mark Rothko is an essential artist as he is one of the founders of the Abstract Expressionism art movement.
Like many other Abstract Expressionism artists, the paintings are valuable as they are paintings that collectors, museums, and others want to own.
Mark Rothko’s Paintings And Their Value
Even though painting No 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) sold for a huge sum of money, many of Mark Rothko’s other paintings have also gone for record amounts. Because so many of his paintings have gone for record amounts, it shows how valuable his paintings are.
Here are some of his other paintings and the amounts they have also sold for at auction:
- Orange, Red, Yellow (1961) By Mark Rothko – Sold for 86,900,000 USD by Christie’s in New York City in May 2012.
- No 10, (1958) By Mark Rothko – Sold for 81,900,000 USD also sold by Christie’s; this painting surpassed its 45,000,000 USD estimate.
- No 1 (Royal, Red, and Blue – 1954) By Mark Rothko – Sold for 72,000,000 USD by Sotheby’s in New York City in November 2012.
- White Center (Yellow, Pink, and Lavender on Rose – 1950) By Mark Rotko – Sold forN72,800,000 USD by Sotheby’s in May 2007.
- Untitled, 1952 By Mark Rothko – Sold for 66,200,000 USD by Christie’s in New York in May 2014.
- No 7, (1951) By Mark Rothko – Part of the Harry and Linda Macklowe Collection. This painting was sold for a record 82,460,000 USD to an unidentified Asian Buyer in November 2021.
As you can see from this list, many Mark Rothko paintings are selling for millions of dollars and continue to sell for millions of dollars at auctions worldwide. This, of course, helps to increase the value of his paintings and make his artwork continue to be a valuable asset for many art collectors.
Who Was The Abstract Expressionism Painter Mark Rothko?
Mark Rothko was a 20th Century American Abstract Expressionism painter credited with helping found the abstract expressionism movement.
Mark Rothko profoundly affected the Abstract Expressionism movement and the movement of modernism monochrome painting. The fact he inspired the art movement makes him an influential artist.
Mark Rothko is known for his color field painting; the color field painting features large rectangular swaps of color. His goal was to try to capture the essence of basic human emotions through his paintings.
Like other abstract expressions, his art was about the emotion or how people feel when they viewed the painting, not so much on the subject matter. Mark Rothko told us about his paintings when he said:
Mark Rothko believed this so much that he was known to refuse to sell his artwork to someone if he felt they did not react appropriately when viewing it.
As Mark Rothko told us, it is not about the painting but the experience we all feel when we see it. Mark Rothko was a master at this – people love his paintings and the experience they feel when they view them- this helps make them continent valuable.
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The Last Painting Created By Mark Rothko Before His Death
Mark Rothko’s final painting, a bright red painting called Untitled, 1970 that many feel symbolizes blood, particularly his blood as he died from an overdose and slashing his wrists; Mark Rothko was 66 years old and left no suicide note. We know that before his death, he also painted a black and grey series that many have felt was his painted suicide note.
By clicking here, you can learn more by reading The Last Painting Created By Mark Rothko Before His Death.
About Homage To Matisse (1954) By Mark Rothko
One painting Mark Rothko painted in 1954 is called Homage To Matisse. This painting is labeled very differently than his other paintings, which usually are labeled with numbers and colors. But this painting was a personal tribute from Mark Rothko to the great French artist Henry Matisse and his influence on him and his artwork.
Why Are Mark Rothko’s Paintings Considered Special?
Mark Rothko’s paintings are remarkable because they are original works of art. He is one of the founders of the abstract expressionism movement and color field painting. But more than that, he believed that his spirit lives within the art and that we, the individuals, can view his art and are taken to a different realm.
By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Why Are Mark Rothko’s Paintings Considered Special?.