Head with Broken Pot is an oil on canvas painting done by Georgia O'Keeffe in 1942. This image showcases an image of a skull placed in a clay pot that is broken on the side. Note that the skull and the pot are placed on an earthly-reddish brown surface that is not even. The skull itself is beige. This colour occurs on the skull when it is left in the open for a long period. The skull has several teeth left with eye and nose sockets depicted in the image. This painting has a blue and white background, indicating that they have been placed in the open where the sky is blue.
An explanation for the Painting
This painting explains that life comes to an end no matter how good things were. Both the skull and the pot were useful at some point. The owner of the skull died, and the pot was broken. Everything is vanity and comes to an end.
Type of Art
The genre of art that Georgia has used in creating Head with Broken Pot painting is vanitas. It is a symbolic work of art that shows the transience of life. This genre also shows the certainty of death and futility of pleasure. It also shows contrasting symbols of death and impermanence with those of wealth. Most of this genre's images are still life images and were common in 16th and 17 century. The skull was one of the images used to showcase death and futility in life. This type of art continues to be used today in various forms to show the above themes.
The Style of Art
This type of art follows a precisionist style of art. This type of art was characterised by smooth and sharply defined objects in the image. The painting style has its roots in Cubism, which did not have a focal point and did not show depth. It also incorporates some features of futurism, including modern life, movement, energy and dynamism.
One of the most striking aspects of this style of painting is the use of geometry in a precise, yet simplified manner. Unlike Cubism, details of precisionist style look more real and delivered a message by its face value. Other artists that used the style included Stuart Davis, George Ault and Joseph Stella. In this painting, Georgia has intelligently interwoven dynamism of life with geometry to show how everything is vanity. Its strong message continues to reverberate even to viewers that have not delved into these art styles and genres, as explained in this article.