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2 Mark Rothko paintings owned by Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon star at New York art auction

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Two Mark Rothko paintings have fetched more than $76 million at a New York auction of post-war and contemporary art.

The paintings were owned by Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, heir to the Listerine fortune. Mellon was a noted horticulturist and widow of philanthropist Paul Mellon. She died in March at 103 at her Virginia estate.

The Rothko paintings were among the offerings at Sotheby’s Monday sale.

“Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange)” sold for $36.5 million, just over its estimated price range. “Untitled” was created 15 years later and brought in $40 million, double its top pre-sale estimate.

Sotheby’s is offering a third Rothko on Tuesday. “No. 21 (Red, Brown, Black and Orange)” was bought by art benefactors Pierre and Sao Schlumberger from Rothko’s estate. It could bring more than $50 million.