Art: The Rothko Tangle

The most labyrinthine art trial in decades goes into summer recess this week. Since it began in mid-February in Manhattan, the "Rothko case" has involved seven different teams of lawyers, produced more than 8,000 pages of transcript and run up a probable $500,000 in costs—and the case for the defense has not yet begun. From the plaintiffs' side, at least, the cast is Dickensian: the suicide artist, the wronged daughter, a brace of crooked or bungling trustees and a villain—Machiavelli and Scrooge McDuck rolled up in one banker's suit.

That candidate appears to be Francis Kenneth Lloyd, founder of Marlborough Gallery Inc....