Embedded grasshopper in Van Gogh's 128-year-old 'Olive Trees' painting?

Researchers have discovered a dead grasshopper in Van Gogh's most popular painting 'Olive Trees'

olive trees

Vincent Van Gogh, the legendary Dutch painter has drawn a handful of memorable paintings in his life, and even after 128 years of his death, his works remain the hottest pick among art lovers. 'Olive Trees' is one of the most acclaimed works of the artist, and now, researchers have figured out one unknown peculiarity associated with this painting. Experts from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City have discovered a small grasshopper with missing abdomen and thorax in the bottom left corner of the painting.

A spectacular discovery after 128 years

The new discovery has literally perplexed the researchers as it went unnoticed for more than 128 years after it got painted. The grasshopper was spotted by the curators during a cataloging project. It was Mary Schafer, the painting conservator who first spotted the grasshopper remnants. As Chafer looked through a magnifying glass, she found an anomaly and initially thought that it was a leaf. But later, the researchers came to know that it is a grasshopper's dead remnants.

Van Gogh's habit of painting outside

Van Gogh was an artist who was very much fond of painting outdoors, and experts believe that the critter might have accidentally landed on the canvas during the time of painting. The researchers also claim that the critter would have been probably dead when it landed the canvas.

"Van Gogh worked outside in the elements. And we know that he ... dealt with wind and dust, grass and trees, flies and grasshoppers," said Julián Zugazagoitia, the Art Director in the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

According to Schafer, it is not unusual to find this kind of material in paintings but the grasshopper discovery is crucial as it connects viewers with the painting style of Van Gogh and the season in which he drew the painting.

Researchers are now aiming to figure out the original appearance of 'Olive Trees' when it was painted in 1889.