Dead grasshopper stuck to Van Gogh's "Olive Trees" painting for 128 years unnoticed


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/08/555624.html


#2

And in how many reproductions?


#3

there was always something about that painting that bugged me.


#4

Is there a reason for the condescending opening remarks on this post that I’m missing?


#5

The poster had to listen to that Don McLean song one too many times?


#6

Guess now we need to write “mixed media, oil paint and insect” on the little placard next to the painting.


#7


#8

Impressionist paintings look best from far away. Far, far away.


#9

I swear when I worked at an art museum I saw remains of a larve of something in the paint of a Sandzen.


#10

Good question; glad it wasn’t just me.

I don’t know why Robert Spallone felt the need to be so snarky; but in that same vein, I also don’t know of too many fans who would have ever even gotten close enough to any real Van Gogh to notice such an odd anomaly.

(And never mind the fact that the author acknowledges that the bits and pieces of the grasshopper were basically camouflaged with paint.)

His paintings are generally in museums and private collections, under lock & key.

Most people have only ever seen photos of Vincent Van Gogh’s work, and have not had the opportunity to examine one in person, let alone that particular piece.


#11

I’ve seen a few Sandzens that needed a good cleaning. No telling if that larvae was during or after, I’d say.
I’ve also heard that some experts feel that some of Jackson Pollock’s work contains hair from his 2 dogs, and it could be an identifying feature if there is a challenge against a particular work’s authenticity.

Not sure if you’re familiar with the Prairie Print Makers movement Sandzen hosted, but my teacher Betty Dickerson was the wife of one of the founding members of the group, William Dickerson.
I’ve seen a few paintings from members of the group, and wouldn’t be surprised if there wouldn’t be some cottonwood tree fluff in some of the works.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/fts/portland_200405A08.html

https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/prairie-print-makers/17312


#12

Art History Fun Fact: Up to 30% of the paintings credited to Jackson Pollock are actually just bugs that got splattered on the canvas when he was driving home from the art supply store in an open panel truck.


#13

You wouldn’t believe the weird shit I found when cleaning some paintings by Richard Upton Pickman.


#14

Wow. Still too modern for you, after 128 years?


#15

The placement of the old cliché into the context of this discovery is an attempt to redefine said cliché into a desire to not see insect carcasses.


#16

This could be a way for forensic proof of ID to be verified. Imagine having your supposed “copy” of a masterpiece vetted as an original due to the existence of author’s DNA in a hair follicle or other biomatter embedded in the paint.
That original Dali scribble you own would suddenly have far more worth.


#17

Patricia Cornwell apparently blew $6-7 million, including purchasing and damaging a Walter Sickert painting, in an attempt to “prove” that the artist was Jack the Ripper; partially by extracting DNA from the semen in the paint to compare it with DNA from the crime scenes.


#18

Shout out for the Nelson Atkins! Please check it out when in KC, it’s a Midwestern gem!


#19

Indeed, I just came here to say exactly that. The Nelson Atkins is world-class.


#20

vangoghletter

"Dearest Theo,

I have discovered the most wonderful insect for snacking upon while in the fields. Here is a sketch of one I just ate.

Please send money. Getting tired of bugs.

Always your brother.
Love,
Vincent"