A GRASSHOPPER HAS BEEN HIDING IN A VAN GOGH
Vincent van Gogh was known to enjoy painting outdoors, meaning that, on at least one occasion, a wandering grasshopper was able to find its way on to the artist’s canvas. As was recently discovered at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, one of van Gogh’s 1889 paintings from his Olive Trees series contains a barely noticeable grasshopper brushed into the artwork. Mary Schafer, the conservator who discovered the grasshopper while examining van Gogh’s art through a magnifying glass, said, “Looking at the painting with the microscope ... I came across the teeny-tiny body of a grasshopper submerged in the paint, so it occurred in the wet paint back in 1889.” The 19th century Dutch post- impressionist painter, most famous for Starry Nights and being that guy who cut off his own ear, once described the conditions he’d paint in, in a letter to his brother: “I must have picked up a few hundred flies and more off the four canvases that you’ll be getting, not to mention dust and sand.” Experts say casual observers won’t be able to spot the insect.