Distinctive ink stains on three untitled drawings closely linked in style and facture to this one (see Related Works on Paper) indicate that the four drawings were made on sheets, possibly contiguous, from the same sketchpad. The stains probably derive from wet ink along the lower edge of the current drawing when it was created. One of the quartet, [Untitled], is a study for the Harvard murals and was likely done by Rothko in the early months of 1962, when he reportedly began work in earnest on the cycle [James E. B. Breslin, Mark Rothko: A Biography (Chicago and London, 1993), 649n19; Karyn Esielonis, “The History of Rothko’s Harvard Murals,” in Marjorie B. Cohn, ed., Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals (Cambridge, 1988), 12n13]. The related ink stains point to the probability of synchronous execution.
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.