"No. 1 Royal Red & Blue," a 1954 abstract painting by Mark Rothko, has been sold for $75 million at an auction in New York, Sotheby's said.
The Wall Street Journal reported John Marion, a former Sotheby's president, and his oil-heiress wife, Anne, didn't expect to sell their 9 1/2-feet-tall painting for more than $50 million, but at least five bidders drove up the price Tuesday.
The work was eventually sold to an unnamed client of Charlie Moffett, a Sotheby's specialist who typically works with U.S. collectors, the newspaper said.
The sale was part of Sotheby's contemporary-art auction, which netted a total of about $375 million, the Journal said.