This is likely an image of Edith, Rothko’s wife, at her worktable. During the mid-1930s Edith Sachar (1912–1981) studied sculpture at the New York School of Arts and Trades with Aaron Goodelman (1890–1978). Rothko painted her practicing the art in three canvases, two of which depict the table in the current work (figs. 1, 2). The form at the left edge of the table may be a sculpture in the early stages of development. Rothko matted this watercolor for presentation, but it is not signed, making it unlikely that it was exhibited. The number assigned during Rothko’s inventory of 1968/1969 erroneously signifies a creation date of 1925–1927 for this work.
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.