Mark Rothko was an American Abstract Expressionist painter. Educated in New York he was part of the Colour Field Movement and European art movements such as Fauvism and Cubism, and artists like Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall.

To get the colour affects in his work he stained the canvas with thin layers of paint and painted layer upon layer to build up the colour. This has caused a great problem for restorers who have had to examine the paint layers to repair damage, and has made some of the paintings unstable, meaning that they are often shown in low lighting conditions. His colour pairings are also designed to create an intense colour affect, juxtaposing hues of equal luminance or complementary colours. Elsewhere he used white highlights to contrast against vivid hues. He used scale, his canvases are large, and simple forms to allow colour to dominate within his work.