This drawing is one of a small series of studies Rothko made of women with a hairstyle popular in the 1940s in the United States and Britain known as a victory roll, a moniker alluding to the aerial maneuvers of World War II warplanes and to Allied war support efforts in general. Rothko appears to have relied on these drawings as preparatory studies for a watercolor (see Related Works on Paper) and a related oil painting (fig. 1).
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.