There is a buildup of thin, translucent layers of differently shaded blacks, which are luminous and warm. The overall effect is strangely ambiguous, neither space nor substance, and Rothko himself described them as touching upon the 'historical sublime'.
When asked about the 'grey and black' paintings, he said, quite simply, that they were about death.
203.3×175.5 cm (80.0×69.1 in)
Untitled (Red over Brown)
It suggests an unlimited space that creates a feeling of calm for the viewer, and a desire to prolong the experience.
Music and theatre were other passions of the artist, and in his art, Rothko sought to convey the same emotions as an audience feels at a concert or a play. There is always depth in a Rothko painting, and that is very evident in Untitled (Red over Brown), with the word "over" in the title underlining this.
Oil on paper, mounted on canvas
78.74×58.42 cm (31×23 in)