The ink stain on the lower edge of this sheet links this drawing to three other untitled drawings closely related in style and facture (see Related Works on Paper), indicating that all were made on sheets, possibly contiguous, from the same sketchpad. The stains probably derive from wet ink along the lower edge of [Untitled] when it was created. Another of the drawings, [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.