A Grasshopper Has Been Stuck in Van Gogh’s Painting for 128 Years


When we first read this about Van Gogh’s “Olive Trees” painting, we thought the grasshopper in question was a painted element that had been overlooked all this time. But no, the grasshopper in question was a real grasshopper, embedded into the paint itself, no doubt from when Vincent was painting a landscape in a field, like he so often did. The insect is very small, and so it went overlooked for well over a century.

Discovered at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, conservator Mary Schafer explains:

“It is not unusual to find insects or plant material in a painting that was completed outdoors,” Ms. Schafer said in a statement. “But in this case, we were curious if the grasshopper could be used to identify the particular season in which this work was painted.”


It adds another bit of intrigue and personality to Van Gogh’s paintings, and to art history. Via NYTimes: