This watercolor may depict the dock at Diamond Point, Lake George, New York. Rothko and his wife Edith Sachar (1912–1981) summered near Lake George several times, including stays in 1938 and 1939. They rented an old schoolhouse at Trout Lake, a few miles north of Diamond Point. Presumably during this period, Rothko made a small series of drawings of the dock and its distinctive pavilion (see Related Works on Paper). Similarities between those drawings and the current work’s depiction of the pilings supporting the dock, the rolling hills visible on the far side of the water, and the shallow rowboat in the foreground suggest that the watercolor may also be traced to Rothko’s visits to Diamond Point.
The abrupt cropping of this scene indicates that there was more to Rothko’s composition on the full sheet (likely a standard size of 15 x 22 inches) before it was cut in half; the other half of the sheet is unlocated, but the image on the reverse side of the sheet, painted years later, appears to be a complete composition.
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.