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Untitled (Portrait)

Painting, 1939, 101.6×76.5 cm

Description of the artwork «Untitled (Portrait)»

Painting by Mark Rothko “Untitled (Portrait)” - one of the not so many works of the artist, which can be attributed to the figurative. Before coming to his painting of the color field, glorifying it, the artist for some time practiced expressionism. This style was well suited for the embodiment of anxiety, which for almost his entire life has been his constant companion.

In the year of painting, this feeling was especially tangible. In Europe, anti-Semitic sentiments were gaining momentum, and Markus Rotkovich, that was the name of the artist from birth, was apprehensively following events in Europe. He was afraid that Nazi influence would spread overseas and reach the United States. Therefore, he hastened to change the name, reducing Mark Rothko to our usual one.

At first glance, the picture looks cloudless: bright day, bright sunny shades. But upon further consideration, there is a stuffy claustrophobic feeling that the walls around the hero of the picture are beginning to shrink. Contributes to this lack of air and prospects. A dirty yellow gamut enhances this obscure anxiety, and it is already difficult to unravel the emotions on the face of the young man depicted in the picture. Either this is a slight half-smile, or embarrassment, and in his posture there is a certain uncertainty and even timidity.

The author: Natalia Azarenko
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About the artwork

This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Expressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1939

Size: 101.6×76.5 cm

Artwork in selections: 19 selections