Rothko Painting Sells for $75.1 Million

"No. 1" fetches far more than expected at Sotheby's, helping to give the auction house its biggest night ever.
"No.1 (Royal Red and Blue)" by Mark Rothko, 1954

With help from Rothko, Pollock and Bacon, Sotheby's garnered its biggest night ever taking in $375 million on Tuesday night.

Mark Rothko's classic "No.1 (Royal Red and Blue)" (1954) sold for a whopping $75.1 million, becoming the second highest price ever paid for a piece by the artist. The painting was estimated to sell for $35-50 million, according to The Huffington Post.

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"Orange, Red, Yellow" (1961) holds the honor of being the highest selling Rothko, fetching $86.8 million at a Christie's auction last May.

Sotheby's contemporary night also featured pieces by other world renowned artists, including Jackson Pollock, whose "Number 4 (1951)" sold for a cool $40.4 million; "Untitled (Pope)" by Francis Bacon sold for $29.8 million; and Willem de Kooning, whose "Abstraction" sold for $19.7 million.

Works by Franz Kline, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol and Clyfford Still were also sold and added to the record-breaking evening.

The $375 million night for Sotheby's broke the auction house's previous record of $362 million set in May 2008.

 

Email: Joshua.Stecker@thr.com; Twitter: @joshuastecker