This watercolor is one of several depictions of a woman holding a child and may portray Sally Avery, the artist Milton Avery’s wife, and their daughter March, who was born October 12, 1932. Rothko’s subjects resemble drawings, paintings, and prints by Avery of Sally, who had short dark hair, and March, who was blonde (fig. 1). If this were March Avery, Rothko’s watercolor likely dates from 1933 or 1934 to judge from her apparent age. Rothko made an early graphite drawing and several variants of this composition (see Related Works on Paper).
1. Milton Avery, Mother and Child, c. 1935, oil on canvas board, DC Moore Gallery, New York.
Mark Rothko: Works on Paper will ultimately document approximately 2,600 works from public and private collections worldwide. Cataloging is ongoing, and works and information will be added to the site during the coming years.