Bug Found Embedded in van Gogh Masterpiece

Bug Found Embedded in van Gogh Masterpiece

A tiny grasshopper was recently discovered lodged into the swirling brushstrokes of a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece painted more than a century ago.

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December 27, 2017
Edited by the PCT Staff

(Pictured above: Vincent van Gogh (bottom left) painted “Olive Trees” (upper left) in 1889. (Right) Microscopic image revealing the grasshopper’s remains in the painting. Photo: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

A tiny grasshopper was recently discovered lodged into the swirling brushstrokes of a Vincent van Gogh masterpiece painted more than a century ago.

As reported by the Kansas City Star, Mary Schafer, a conservator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Missouri, found the bug hiding in plain sight in the artist’s 1889 work “Olive Trees.” 

“Van Gogh worked outside in the elements,” Julian Zugazagoitia, director of the museum, told the Star. “And we know that he... dealt with wind, and dust, grass and trees, and flies and grasshoppers.”

The troubled artist killed himself just a year after painting the work. He had written about the perils of painting outdoors in an 1885 letter to his brother, Theo.

“But just go and sit outdoors, painting on the spot itself!” van Gogh wrote. “Then all sorts of things like the following happen — I must have picked up a good hundred flies and more off the four canvases that you’ll be getting.” 

Source: Kansas City Star