Do you think these hazy blocks of deep blue, grey, and brown convey a sense of sorrow, ecstasy, or doom? Mark Rothko hoped to evoke such poignant emotions by painting rectangles of color that appear to float in space and bleed into their surroundings. Although many of his paintings would feature luminous fields of red, orange, and yellow, Rothko believed that darker colors conveyed the tragic state of existence more successfully than brighter hues.



  • Title: No. 5 (Untitled)
  • Creator: Mark Rothko
  • Creator Lifespan: 1903/1970
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: New York City, NY
  • Creator Birth Place: Russia
  • Date: 1949/1949
  • Location Created: United States
  • Provenance: Lawrence Rubin, New York; Betty Parsons Gallery, New York; Priscilla Peck; Frank Stella, New York; Knoedler Galleries, New York, May 8, 1976; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.; Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. to the Chrysler Museum at Norfolk, Virginia, 1989.
  • Physical Dimensions: 85 x 63 in. (215.9 x 160 cm)
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Medium: Oil on unprimed canvas

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