A set of paintings by Rothko, now in the Tate Modern. They were originally painted for the Seagram Building in New York, but Rothko changed his mind and considered such a location unsuitable, so gave them to the Tate.

They are about eight in number, huge compositions in crimson, black, and maroon. They have their own room, and make it seem like a temple with huge portals into some numinous unknown. Rothko-lovers typically spend ten minutes or more sitting in here quietly absorbing them.

The reaction of other people is often extraordinary. They go into the room and back out as if they'd made a mistake, and there was nothing in there. Or they gasp and laugh, and go out quickly, even though they have voluntarily chosen to go into a modern art gallery and look at all sorts of fashionable abstract rubbish. Somehow Rothko defeats them.

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