Rothko's No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) to beat $50m at Sotheby's?

Mark Rothko's No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) is set to highlight Sotheby's Evening Sale of Contemporary Art on November 13.

The 1954 painting, which has a $50m high estimate, is one of eight works selected by Rothko for his famed show in that year at the Art Institute of Chicago, his first one-man exhibition at a major US gallery.

Mark Rothko No.1
A ravishingly beautiful and monumental work

Of those eight works, just one other remains in private ownership outside of Rothko's family - making this piece all the more attractive to art buyers. The work has been under the same ownership for the past 30 years.

"To have a ravishingly beautiful and monumental work from the legendary 1954 show appear at auction is a major market event," said Sotheby's worldwide head of contemporary art, Tobias Meyer.

"No.1 (Royal Red and Blue) joins major abstract expressionist paintings by Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still and Willem de Kooning at Sotheby's this autumn, creating a particularly exciting opportunity for collectors to appreciate this crucial period in 20th century art."

It will be on view in New York from November 1.

The Russian born artist is among the biggest hitters on the art auction scene.

His Orange, Red, Yellow from 1961 currently holds the world record for contemporary art at auction, following an $86.9m performance at Christie's in May.

Our sister company PFC Auctions' online sale includes many superb art pieces - bidding ends on September 27 so you need to act fast.

We will bring you more details from the New York sale closer to the time.

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