Nuenen, October - November 1884 Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
oil on canvas,
41.5 cm x 79.0 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
This is a type of tropical bat – an unusual subject for an artist. The one painted by Van Gogh was stuffed and mounted. Just look at its stiff, unnatural pose.
Van Gogh knew a man in Eindhoven (NL), Antoon Hermans, with a collection of more than 300 mounted exotic animals. This bat may have come from that collection. Van Gogh wanted to depict the translucent wings clearly, so he placed a light source behind them.