Wine is the colour of the background, a type of brown. It shows through all across the work because of how the artist would leave gaps between his rectangles of colour. They would almost produce windows into another world for those viewing these huge canvases up close and personal. Sometimes these layers of paint would appear to float in mid air, such as the strip of blue which covers a small slither of the top part of this painting. He would also understand the impact of negative space and in some cases his foreground and background would feature very similar tones, which gave the impression of missing elements. That would also impact the sequence in which we might look at the different parts of the painting, and where our focus would head first of all. In the case of this painting, No. 3 (Bright Blue, Brown, Dark Blue on Wine), it is certainly the blue that we notice first, because of how the black and wine behind are relatively similar and also how brighter colours tend to come to our attention first anyway.
The item measures 205.7 x 193.7 cm, and may reside within a Yale collection in the US, but we have been unable to locate its precise position within the country. Rothko was a particularly productive artist who left behind many hundreds of paintings, meaning that his collection could be dispersed far and wide whilst still ensuring that a good number remain in public collections. Indeed, efforts were made by the Rothko family to make sure that key permanent collections within both Europe and the US would be able to offer examples of his work, thus ensuring that his reputation and legacy would remain strong for generations to come. Some other artists have suffered after seeing their work hidden away in private collections that then leads to their names being somewhat forgotten about, or at least sidelined to a certain degree. Major exhibitions will often be based around existing collections, where items can be added on top to pad out the display, but those who are entirely held privately would require much more work to curate a display.
Some of the artist's best known works included White Center, Rothko Chapel and Orange, Red, Yellow. It took him many years before he decided to stick with his Color Field approach, having previously gone through many different alternative methods. He would make use of a much darker palette in his later years and this is likely to have been influenced by his own mood which was becoming somewhat more troubled and negative. He would experiment and innovate right across his career and this was a key ingredient to his success, with the other styles also outputting some important and interesting work. He played a major role in helping establish American art to dominate all others for several decades and this was an important moment in the history of culture for the nation, a sign of a young country now pushing onwards and leading for the first time in matters such as this. Europeans would now look on with respect and travel over to see more of this exciting brand of creativity.