Dimensions: 29 x 36 Inches. Oil on Canvas, with the Occasional Bug.

Why, hello there, Jiminy! Fancy meeting you here!

It’s interesting to see how our understanding of art, and its creators, change with more information. We’ve heard for years that Vincent Van Gogh – he of the sunflowers and the sliced ear – did much of his painting outdoors, but to get such real evidence of that ritual is amazing. The evidence turned up when a Kansas City conservator happened to examine a painting of olive trees, and discovered…a grasshopper. Which led to another mystery: evidently the bug didn’t fly onto the canvas while it was being created, as part of it was missing. If it HAD been alive and whole, there would’ve been signs of movement as it tried to get out of the paint.

So did Van Gogh place the grasshopper in the painting, or did it fall into the canvas from a tree, or what? It should be pointed out that the bug isn’t easily visible without intense observation, not something seen at a glance, which might indicate that he had no idea the insect was there.

More about the recent discovery, plus photos of the actual painting and a zoom on our famous little friend, here.

– Todd Berryman
Middays on WIN 104.9
“I Knew the Bug/His Wire Running Down into the Hole/Greedy Girl You’re Gonna Snatch My Soul”