Van Gogh’s Shoes and their religious, aesthetic, photography walking

Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2022



Van Gogh’s Shoes and their religious, aesthetic, photography walking

Dr. Vasiliki Rouska



Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890) was a post-impressionist artist with a deeply religious identity, a fact that is not widely known. Van Gogh created symbols in his art, symbols that to a very significant degree he inspired by the Bible. Van Gogh studied Bible in everyday basis because he wanted to study theology and be accepted in a theology school so to preach the word of God. He also translated the Bible from Dutch to French and German at the time he stayed at Dordrecht on January of 1877, when he worked in a bookshop as an assistant (LT108). The Shoes is a very famous theme in Van Gogh’s art, a theme that he inspired from the Old Testament (Ex. 3:5). He painted six still lives of Shoes arousing the aesthetic and interpretive interest of researchers worldwide. Van Gogh’s shoes “walked” through time and art history and passed from painting to photography. Artists followed Van Gogh’s biblical inspiration trying to give to them another perception. Walker Evans (1903-1975), Rudy Burckhardt (1914-1999), Brian Goldberg (Untitled, 2018), Fazal Sheikh (Human Archipelago, 2018) photographed shoes that obviously refer to Van Gogh’s paintings transmitting the biblical symbol of shoes from 19th century’s painting to the contemporary art and photography, giving to them a new hermeneutical dimension. But shoes presence does not stop to the art. Shoes were also moved to industry, commercial and advertising via photography or even to wedding and baptism photography as symbols of the passage to another life situation.

keywords: art; interpretation; perspective; symbols; transmission.