Soup on Canvas: What Would Van Gogh Say?

The artist’s potential opinion about the defacement of his iconic sunflower painting

✨ Bridget Webber
4 min readOct 15, 2022


Photo by Redd on Unsplash

Gasps echo around the gallery, and someone says, “oh my gosh,” as activists slosh the contents of a tin of soup across Van Gogh’s sunflower painting.

Afterward, a Just Stop Oil spokesperson explains, “The cost-of-living crisis is part of the cost of oil crisis. Fuel is unaffordable to millions of cold, hungry families. They can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup.”

Many people question whether vandalism is the best way to highlight the issue, despite agreeing with the earth-friendly sentiment. Indeed, what would Van Gogh say?

The National Gallery claims that the painting is undamaged, a relief for those who admire the beauty of the iconic artwork. And perhaps the artist wouldn’t be as upset about the incident as you may imagine.

Van Gogh was no stranger to disappointment and hard work. Nor was he blind to the sorrows and hardships of the working class, which he frequently depicted on canvas.

After several attempts to make a living in various ways, Gogh chose to be an artist. However, before he decided to paint full-time, he tried his hand as a lay preacher, ministering to the poor.

At this time, Van Gogh found his inspiration upon witnessing everyday people’s toil and sweat, and you might contemplate, would he support the working class now, seeing as they still face numerous hardships? Maybe he would be sympathetic to their cause.

Protesters consider the most effective way to garner attention is to be outrageous. Otherwise, few people pay attention. For example, Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison famously threw herself under the horse of George the V at the Epsom Derby.

Whether she merely meant to hand the king a note or die for her cause is subject to controversy. But the decision to select such a grand target wasn’t a mistake. All eyes followed the…



✨ Bridget Webber

Life story coach, counselor, hypnotherapy, NLP, writer, and avid tea-drinking meditator.