Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, May-June 1889
oil on canvas,
33.5 cm x 24.5 cm
Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
The roses in this painting were originally pink, not white. You can still see a hint of pink here and there. The cause of the colour change is the gradual bleaching of a pigment used in the paint.
Sitting on a leaf at the bottom of the picture is an insect, depicted far more precisely that the rest of the picture. It is a rose chafer beetle (cetonia aurata), complete with the distinctive white stripes on its underbelly and barbs on its legs. Van Gogh had sketched the beetle earlier and probably traced over his sketch when making this painting.