Born in Dvinsk, Russia (now Daugavpils, Latvia) Rothko moved with his family to Portland, Oregon in 1913. His painting education was brief - he moved to New York to study under the artist Max Weber and then struck out on his own. Rothko is known for his abstract expressionism paintings, but he moved through more traditional styles in his early career, including Surrealist paintings in the 1940s. In 1947 he embarked on the first of his large abstract 'colour-field' paintings, formalising their structure further in the 1950s. Rothko had huge success with largescale solo shows, but committed suicide in 1970.