Is nothing sacred, and shouldn’t all who want to construct rather than destruct give activists the Van Gogh brush-off?
Just how Vincent would have reacted to the two climate activists who threw a tin of soup at his oil painting Sunflowers in London is anybody’s guess.
But we suspect that the fiery redhead would have gone mental at the fundamentalists and rightly so.
Thankfully for all, the painting is protected by a shield of glass.
But such is his brilliance that if you get up close and personal to his paintings you can see…
Just how thick oils were which he feverishly applied to his paintings.
My first reaction to the cultural vandalism of their attack was a Van Goghian rage at these activists’ abuse of a civilian’s right to protest.
And how their selective destruction of our art would not have been out of place in the fascist Third Reich or Mussolini’s Italy.
Not that these philistines deserve an answer but Vincent Van Gogh had a love and insight for nature that few of us can reach.
And far fewer still can express.
Some painting notes
And here the good people of the National Gallery lend us their expertise with some artistic notes.
The sunflower is mine’, Van Gogh is once said to have declared, and it does speak to him (both metaphorically and perhaps in his delirium).
The different stages in the sunflower’s life cycle shown here, from young bud through to maturity and eventual decay, follow in the vanitas tradition of Dutch seventeenth-century flower paintings (who knew?)
And that emphasises the transient nature of human actions.
The sunflowers were perhaps also intended to be a symbol of friendship and a celebration of the beauty and vitality of nature.
And he had five of them on display across the world.
At your attendance
Spare a thought and a minute here too for the staff at the National Gallery in London who care for the exhibits better than their own children.
Because these stunts push us further down the road to bulky guards at our art galleries rather than helpful attendants.
And should that come then the essence, the karma of the spaces, the floors and rooms of an art gallery will be compromised.
The best place to appreciate Van Gogh’s art is at his museum in Amsterdam.
And hang with the Bedroom at Arles, The Potato Eaters The Self-Portrait with Grey Fedora, Irises and Wheatfield with a reaper.
There are many great art cities but Amsterdam allows you to be part of the picture as you can see with another Dutch art great Rembrandt and his living Night Watch.
Play to the gallery
A print of which has hung in our spare room across a bunch of houses we have lived in in Britain and Ireland.
Where there have been clumsy removals and teens’ house parties.
But while there have been damages and breakages we have always treated our art and our prints.
Which we all should in our own homes and in our art galleries.
While we give the activists the Van Gogh brush-off.