Horse's Skull with Pink Rose, 1931 by Georgia O'Keeffe

Horse's Skull with Pink Rose is one of Georgia O'Keeffe's greatest and most mystifying works. O'Keeffe composed it from the dry white bones and relentless blue sky of the South-western desert. While some critics saw a morbid fascination with death in works like Horse's Skull with Pink Rose, or ascribed an inscrutable and personal "symbolism" to the astonishing vision presented in Ram's Head with Hollyhock, O'Keeffe maintained these paintings were as celebratory of life as her flowers. She was merely deriving inspiration from what nature now provided her - the detritus of the desert.