Mark Rothko Net Worth – Life and Career of A Great Painter

Mark Rothko was an Latvian-American abstract painter. His work was associated with Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Paintings. He is considered one of the most famous post-World War II artists.

Mark Rothko Net Worth

At the time of his death, Mark Rothko’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million. He obtained his earnings through his paintings and exhibits. He is considered one of the richest painters.

There are many galleries that feature his works and paintings and have him under their list of artists or painters. You can see his feature on the National Gallery of Art and Museum of Modern Art

Personal Life

Mark Rothko was born Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz on September 25, 1903, in Daugavpils, Latvia. He was of Latvian-Jewish descent. His father is Jacob Rothkowitz, who was a pharmacist, intellectual and Marxist. They were raised in a political and secular household. 

All of the members of the family were highly educated. Rothko spoke Lithuanian Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian. Moreover, as a Jew in Russia, Mark Rothko’s childhood was full of fear.

Fearing that his sons were about to be drafted into the Imperial Russian Army, Jacob Rothkowitz relocated from Russia to the United States. Mark stayed in Russia with his mother and elder sister Sonia. Jacob and his elder sons arrived at Ellis Island in New York Harbor, in late 1913. From there, they traveled to Portland, Oregon to join his brothers. 

Rothko started school in the United States in 1913. He completed high school with honors, at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon. He also learned his fourth language which is English. 

Professional Career

In 1921, he entered Yale University, but left after two years. IIn 1925, he began to study at Parsons School of Design under the mentorship of painter Arshile Gorky. He also took courses at the Art Students League taught by Cubist artist Max Weber, who was a part of the French avant-garde movement. 

In New York is where Rothko’s artistry bloomed. His significant early influences were the paintings of the German Expressionists, the surrealist work of Paul Klee, and the art of Georges Rouault.

To support himself, Rothko began teaching children drawing, painting, and clay sculpture at the Center Academy of the Brooklyn Jewish Center, where he taught actively for more than twenty years.

Mark Rothko developed his own compositional strategy in 1947. This was described as “Color Field painting” by Clement Greenberg, a critic, in 1955. It is characterized by significant open space and an expressive use of color.

 His first East Coast one-person show was held at the Contemporary Arts Gallery. He showcased fifteen oil paintings, with some aquarelles, and drawings.

Rothko’s work has described different periods. His early era was from 1924 to 1939, and was inflected by impressionism that depicted urban scenes. His middle, “transitional” years were 1940 to 1950 which involved phases of figurative mythological abstraction, “biomorphic” abstraction, and “multiforms.” The latter part of his work was defined as being canvases with large regions of color.

Was Mark Rothko Married?

Rothko was married to Edith Sachar from 1932 to 1943. His second marriage was to Mary Alice Beistle from 1945 to 1969. He had a son named Christopher and a daughter named Kate.

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