Georgia O’Keeffe, an icon in the American modernist movement and a proto-feminist artist, painted around 200 flower paintings from the 1920s to the 1950s. One of her famous works is “Red Snapdragons,” which she created circa 1923. The painting belongs to the Precisionism style that O’Keeffe favored and is known for its clear, precise forms.
In “Red Snapdragons,” O’Keeffe depicts a group of flowers in intense shades of red with hues of orange and yellow. She paid close attention to each petal’s details while keeping her composition simple, emphasizing line and form over color. Her approach allowed her to examine different perspectives on flowers; some art historians point out that it reflects a feminist attitude toward nature.
O’Keeffe’s contribution to American art lies not only in her vibrant colors and precise forms but also in her unique exploration of abstract patterns from natural sources. Her Red Canna painting series focused on close-up images of flower interiors; it was part of this groundbreaking experimentation wherein she examined nature’s intricacies up close. Today, visitors can see many of O’Keeffe’s floral paintings at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.