Horse's Skull with Pink Rose, 1931
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation (AC1994.159.1),
Oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 30 1/4 x 1 1/4 in.
After spending the summer of 1929 in New Mexico, Georgia O’Keeffe began to incorporate desert motifs into her earlier flower subjects. In this modern vanitas painting (Renaissance still life, where skulls symbolize the “vanity” of earthly pursuits), she juxtaposes a sun-bleached horse’s skull with a rose to evoke death and the fleeting nature of beauty and being.