KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A small grasshopper has been found embedded in a Vincent van Gogh painting at a Kansas City museum.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art said in a news release that the insect was stuck in the thick paint in the lower foreground of the famed artist’s “Olive Trees.” Van Gogh was known for painting outdoors and mused in an 1885 letter to his brother that “I must have picked up a good hundred flies and more off the 4 canvases that you’ll be getting.”
Paintings Conservator Mary Schafer made the grasshopper discovery while examining the painting under magnification. The bug isn’t visible through casual observation.
The close study of the painting is part of an effort to create an online catalogue of the 104 French paintings and pastels at the museum.