We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Why Was Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” Drenched in Tomato Soup Last Week?

Margaret Lipman
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

<>Last week, in room 43 of London’s National Gallery, Vincent Van Gogh’s "Sunflowers" was drenched in tomato soup. Two protesters wearing T-shirts with the "Just Stop Oil" logo threw soup on the painting before gluing their hands to the wall. But why is a famous work of art, valued at an estimated $84.2 million USD, the target of this activist group? Phoebe Plummer, 21, and Anna Holland, 20, wanted to draw attention to the damaging effects of the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels. Just Stop Oil is calling for an end to the new licensing and production of fossil fuels and demanding a move to renewable energy sources.

Plummer explained to onlookers how the use of fossil fuels directly contributes to the UK's cost-of-living crisis, declaring that “fuel is unaffordable to millions of cold, hungry families” who “can’t even afford to heat a tin of soup.” This is not the first time a work of art has been targeted by Just Stop Oil. In June, two activists glued themselves to the frame of Van Gogh’s "Peach Trees in Blossom" at London's Courtauld Gallery, and at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery, demonstrators spray-painted "Just Stop Oil" next to Horatio McCulloch’s "My Heart’s in the Highlands." Alongside tampering with famous artwork, Just Stop Oil has orchestrated other nonviolent demonstrations such as sit-down protests on roads, spray painting storefronts, climbing on top of the M25 Dartford Crossing bridge, and blocking a major motorway.

Plummer and Holland were arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespass but were released on bail on the condition that they don’t enter public spaces with paint or adhesives again. In a statement, the National Gallery said the painting was undamaged due to its glass covering, a factor Just Stop Oil said they considered in their choice of that painting. Despite the arrests, Just Stop Oil has not been discouraged and stated “our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.”

Two Van Gogh facts ... and one on tomatoes:

  • Before committing to the life of an artist at the age of 27, Van Gogh had already worked as a lay minister, bookseller, teacher, and art dealer.

  • Van Gogh did not reach international acclaim during his lifetime and was thought to have sold only one painting.

  • Tomatoes belong to the same plant family as deadly nightshade and were considered poisonous up to the 19th century.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
Discussion Comments
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.