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White Iris, painting by Georgia O'Keeffe at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA


White Iris, painting by Georgia O'Keeffe at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

I have been an admirer of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings for several years now. The first thing I did after stepping into Virginia Museum of Fine Arts at Richmond was to ask if they had any of her original paintings. The museum guide mentioned that they had one painting which had gone to France for an exhibition and would check to confirm if it had come back. In few minutes, she did find out and to my delight, the answer was a YES.

So here was I in front of the original White Iris by Georgia O'Keeffe. An oil painting which brings out all the different parts of the white iris, executed with very subtle colours and balance. You look at it as a whole or parts of it, it radiates the sense of calm and ethereal beauty that paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe are all about. Whether she paints mountains or flowers, the unique quality of each of her works has been that you can look at as a whole or in parts, it still mesmerises you in equal measure. Add to the sense of clam and ethereal beauty, the sensuousness of forms depicted in her paintings. That is simply stunning. The mountains and the flowers no longer remain defined forms but every part of the frame exudes a sensuous character which draws you in. It beckons you to be part of the frame and experience the sensuality.

Magical it is!

The note next to the painting mentioned that while Georgia did several paintings of Black Iris, this painting of White Iris was uncommon. While this may be so, for me what mattered more was the experience of being touched by Georgia's painting at close quarters.