No word in English does not convey all the shades of the word “melancholy”. In its greatest depth and painfulness is the feeling of great spiritual suffering without any particular reason. At a less painful level – the unclear pain of the soul, the passionate desire in the absence of the object of desire, painful languor, vague anxiety, mental suffering, a strong desire. In some cases this may be the desire of someone or something specific, nostalgia, loving longing. At the lowest level, anguish passes into ennui, boredom.
Black in Deep Red, 1957 by Mark Rothko
Black in Deep Red, 1957 follows the characteristic format of Mark Rothko’s work, in which stacked rectangles of color appear to float within the boundaries of the canvas. By directly staining the canvas with many thin washes of pigment and paying particular attention to the edges where the fields interact, he achieved the effect of light radiating from the image itself. This technique suited Rothko’s metaphysical aims: to offer painting as a doorway into purely spiritual realms, making it as immaterial and evocative as music, and to directly communicate the most essential, raw forms of human emotion.