Nicolas Poussin’s The Adoration of the Golden Calf was vandalized by a 57-year old man at London’s National Gallery, the Guardian reports. He used a canister of red spray paint. His motives are unclear. Another, smaller painting also by Poussin was vandalized as well. Security guards detained him in the museum. Five police officers later arrested the man. A witness, Steven Dear, says he simply stood there “waiting to be arrested” when he finished.
“He seemed proud,” Mr. Dear told the Guardian.
The oil painting, completed in 1634, depicts Israelites worshipping a calf while Moses was receiving the tablets of the Ten Commandments. Spray paint, we think, should likely be checked at the door when entering a museum. The image of Poussin’s painting with a red line scrawled across it makes us a cringe.