On the canvas of Van Gogh found a grasshopper who died 128 years ago.
In the lower left corner of Van Gogh's painting “Olive Trees”, scientists found a grasshopper stuck to the paint. He probably hit the canvas already dead. Van Gogh worked a lot in the open air and even complained to Brother Theo that he was disturbed by animals.
The picture “Olive trees” Vincent Van Gogh painted in the open air in Saint-Remy-de-Provence in 1889 (a year later the artist committed suicide). Grasshopper was discovered by curators of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas, who conducted extensive scientific research on the work of Van Gogh.
Studying the landscape under a magnifying glass, in the foreground, the researchers found a tiny grasshopper pressed into paints. Seeing it with the naked eye would be impossible.
The author of the find, Mary Schafer, explained that there is nothing unusual in it: “It is not uncommon to find insects or plant material in paintings that were completed outdoors. But in this case we wondered whether it was possible to determine the specific season when the work was written with the help of a grasshopper. ”
To learn more about grasshoppers, art historians turned to experts from the American Museum of National History. Scientists noticed that the grasshopper has no thoracic and abdomen, and there is no trace of movement on the paint that surrounds it. So they concluded that the grasshopper died before it hit the canvas. Unfortunately, the date could not be more accurate.
Van Gogh himself in letters to his brother Theo talked about the troubles accompanying work in the open air. He suggested that he himself try to paint on nature and see how much it can happen.
“I had to take off a good hundred, if not more, flies from those four canvases that you get - and that’s not counting dust, sand, and the like. Not to mention the fact that during the few hours that they had to carry around the wastelands and through the hedges, random branches scratched them a couple of times. ”Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo, 1885
The researchers also realized that over time, the red pigment van Gogh had used disappeared from the picture, and it had looked different before. Now they hope to study the canvas and understand how it was in 1889.