Rothko was fascinated by the mythical in his early work. Hierarchical Birds has two bird – like forms in the center and amorphous shapes near the top of the painting. The bright blue-pink section of the background at the top reflects an Aegean drama. The division into sections also call back to the friezes of ancient times, where mythical stories would carved into stone.
Oil On Canvas
39 5/8 x 31 11/16 in.
100.7 x 80.5 cm
National Gallery of Art
Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc.
Mark Roth© 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York