The painting masterpieces you must see once in your life



No. 61 (Rust and Blue)


Artwork Details

Brown Blue, Brown on Blue
Oil on canvas
292.74 cm x 233.68 cm
Color Field
© Creative Commons

why we love it

Rothko was a leading figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement, which emerged in the 1940s and 1950s. “No. 61 (Rust and Blue)” epitomizes the movement’s emphasis on emotional expression through non-representational forms and colors.

Rothko was a pioneer of Color Field painting, a style characterized by large areas of solid color intended to evoke an emotional response. “No. 61 (Rust and Blue)” showcases this with its vast, softly defined blocks of color, creating a meditative and immersive experience for the viewer. Rothko believed that colors could express basic human emotions and aimed for his paintings to connect with viewers on a profound level.

The painting exemplifies Rothko’s signature techniques, such as the layering of thin washes of color and the soft edges between color fields, which give the painting a luminous, almost glowing quality. This method helps to draw the viewer into the work, creating a sense of depth and infinite space.

Created in 1953, “No. 61 (Rust and Blue)” is part of a period when Rothko had fully developed his mature style. This painting reflects the broader cultural and intellectual currents of mid-20th century America, including existentialism and the search for meaning in a post-war world. Another Rothko’s work “Orange, Red, Yellow”, was sold at auction for $86.9 million in May 2012, setting a record for Rothko’s work at the time, and making his paintings among the most valuable in the contemporary art market.

Rothko’s works are all over the place in major museums. His pieces are must-sees and they pull crowds like crazy. Whether it’s his standalone pieces or the epic Seagram Murals, his art commands attention. He revolutionized art with his emotive color blocks, touched hearts with his deep feels, and set the stage for countless artists. He’s the legend who turned color and emotion into a universal language.

This is just our small bit, let your curiosity do the rest.
Latvian / American
September 25, 1903
February 25, 1970

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