This image is painted after "The Broken Pitcher" by Jean Baptise Greuze and also by William Adolphe Bouguereau. Their paintings are about innocence lost, depicted by a young girl and a broken pitcher. My image builds on their concept and is about how innocence unwittingly slips away from us. The beautiful young girl stares blissfully into the distance with a dreamlike face. She is unaware that the pitcher has slipped from her grasp just as many of us were unaware of our transition from childhood to adulthood. Eventually the pitcher will hit the ground and break, but when?
Perhaps the pitcher will break when you study the painting further and you begin to see that this painting about innocence is constructed with adult references. Consequently the innocence of the painting slips away which precisely reinforces the point of the painting. Look at the phallic symbol of the crescent moon. It appears to hang from the purple ribbon but also penetrates it sexually. The pitcher and attached ribbon are about fertility and coming of age – the peculiar way the ribbon ‘flows’ out of the pitcher represents menstruation, however, the combination of the pitcher and the purple ribbon ‘tail’ are representative of insemination and point towards her vagina. Lastly, the girl’s fingers have lost the grip on the pitcher because the hand on her lap has been distracted, exploring the ribbon’s folds, suggesting masturbation, which provides an opposing explanation of the dreamlike look on her face. As the adult references are revealed, the figure of the girl takes on a more erotic appearance. Ultimately, this painting “tests” the innocence of the viewer.
Oil on Linen, 64" x 50"