[Head of a man wearing eyeglasses]

9 15/16 x 8 in. (25.2 x 20.3 cm)
Verso in black ink: M. Rothkowitz
Estate/Inventory Number
O 8
National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.56.477. © Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko
This work is signed and shows evidence of having once been overmatted, indicating that it may have been exhibited during Rothko’s lifetime. It might have been displayed during the summer of 1933 in Drawings and Water Colors by M. Rothkowitz at the Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon. No checklist exists for this show, but a review evokes this and similar works in praising a selection of “spontaneously conceived and executed . . . rich and velvety” black watercolors, noting that they were made with show card (an affordable paint generally used for commercial signs) on “sheets from a 10 cent tablet of linen writing paper” [Catherine Jones, “Noted One-Man Show Artist One-Time Portland Resident,” Sunday Oregonian, July 30, 1933]. The signature closely resembles those on [Woman combing her hair] and [Woman in hat], pointing to the probability of synchronous execution.