“Untitled, (Yellow and Blue)”, by Mark Rothko


  • A painting by Mark Rothko titled “Untitled (Yellow and Blue)” has been sold for $46.5 million.
  • Mark Rothko is labeled as one of the most successful artists of the 20th century.
  • Rothko committed suicide in 1970.

“To stand in front of his monumental and luminous ‘Untitled (Yellow and Blue)’ is to witness first hand how truly miraculous a painting can be.” – Sotheby’s Auction House

The nameless painting contains just two colors, yellow and blue, and was aptly named “Untitled (Yellow and Blue)”.

What may seem like a painting of just two dash of colors by Mark Rothko actually sold for $46.5 million at the Sotheby’s auction in New York.

The painting measures 95 ⅝ inches tall and 73 ½  inches wide and was painted with oil on canvas in 1954.

According to the Guardian, Mark Rothko was one of the most famous and successful artists in the 20th century before committing suicide in 1970. His death left behind almost 800 paintings of tremendous value, and set of a bitter court case between his daughter Kate Rothko and the Marlborough Gallery Inc of New York.

Eventually Marlborough won the rights to sell the paintings, and sold them to Paul Mellon, an American racehorse breeder. The painting was acquired by Parisian art collector and businessman François Pinault before selling at the Sotheby’s auction house on Wednesday for $46.5 million.

Sotheby auction house calls the painting “unequivocal masterpiece” of contemporary art. From the description of the painting:

“A glowing aurora of shimmering color and light, the present work confronts us as the summation of its creator’s deeply philosophical practice, wherein he staged some of the most moving, transcendent, and simply breathtaking unions between material and support ever realized in the grand tradition of oil paint on canvas.”

Despite the astronomical price, the painting didn’t set any record.

You can watch a video description of the art piece here.