No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) is considered by many to be Rothko’s masterpiece but the fact that the painting was able to so far outstrip its pre-sale estimate of £31.5 million came as a welcome suprise to all involved.
Overall the entire auction proved to be rather profitable for Sotheby’s with £237 million worth of art being sold, making it the single best day for the company in its 268-year history.
It would seem then that the international art market has more than recovered from the 2008 Global Financial Crises which threatened to derail it.
‘If you want to talk about the market being happy, healthy and well, well here it is,’ said Sotheby’s auctioneer Tobias Meyer, worldwide head of contemporary art. ‘That’s probably about as good as it gets,’ he added.
While Rothko’s No.1 was the star of the show it did not manage to beat the Russian born artists single sale record with another of his pieces selling for over £50 million pounds in May of 2012.
While Mark Rothko died in 1970 it’s fair to say that whoever is the executor of his estate is doing pretty well for themselves.