This picture is one of nine that Mark Rothko created for a restaurant called the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building, New York. He spent about 8 months creating all the work, and when he finished, Rothko decided that the paintings (which are massive by the way) didn’t suit the restaurant so he kept them. He wanted the paintings to be seen in a place where you could think quietly and not be distracted by noise (and food!). These paintings are still known as the Seagram Murals.
You can see the paintings at Tate Modern until February 1 2009.
What do you think happened when Rothko told the restaurant he was keeping the paintings? What do you think the letter said? How do you think the owners of the restaurant felt? Where would be a better place for the paintings?