Vincent van Gogh • Painting, November 1886, 38.1×45.3 cm
Digital copy: 1.8 MB
2985 × 2480 px • JPEG
42 × 35.3 cm • 178 dpi
50.5 × 42.0 cm • 150 dpi
25.3 × 21.0 cm • 300 dpi
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About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Still life
Style of art: Post-Impressionism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: November 1886
Size: 38.1×45.3 cm
Artwork in selections: 87 selections
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Exhibitions history
Van Gogh and Britain
March 27 − August 11, 2019
Tate Britain, Milbank

Description of the artwork «Shoes»

The Parisian period of van Gogh, which lasted from 1886 to 1888, is one of the most important and fruitful in the life of the artist. Here he wrote over 230 works — more than ever, if we look at each creative stage of the artist separately. In Paris Vincent studied painting, visit exhibitions, get acquainted with the Impressionists. Under the influence of this trend in his own manner gradually changed: there are bright solid colors, new techniques for the transmission of svetovozdushnoy environment. Dutch realism is rapidly disappearing from the painter. In Paris, van Gogh still lifes, and sometimes the paintings are quite unexpected objects such as old worn shoes.

The plot works, at first glance, is quite simple: a pair of badly worn shoes on a gloomy background. Think they recently put on the floor after a long walk in the rain. The painting of van Gogh's "Shoes" there are no more parts and characters — it is obvious that the shoes is the main protagonist of the canvas. The artist offers to guess a riddle: a viewer thinks about the fate of the owner of the shoes, trying to determine his occupation, age, personality traits.

Vincent often found inspiration watching the harsh life of ordinary people: peasants, workers. Their hard life, the everyday life and fleeting stay is not once became the subjects for his works. The series of shoes is the continuation of this subject, first raised by the artist in the "Dutch period". However van Gogh's painting "Shoes" or, as it is called, "Boots" unusual is the fact that her characters practically come to life, telling the audience the details of his troubled life. They do not look less tired and overwhelmed than likely dropped. The artist was not trying to embellish reality, truthfully and honestly portraying dirty old shoes. Color paintings, is quite monotonous and monotonous, emphasizes this effect.

Van Gogh, like many of his contemporaries, was characteristic of symbolism. Different symbols were widely used by the Impressionists and post-Impressionists as a reaction to realism and naturalism in art. Vincent was especially important to Express your emotions through artwork, to appeal to the senses of the viewer. The painting of van Gogh's "Shoes" depicts the items symbolize hard work and a life of hopelessness, but the masters they may have been associated with his own life.

It is noteworthy that, choosing a "model" for this work, the artist purchased rented shoes on the market. Because the shoes were too clean, van Gogh put them on and went for a long walk along the street until they took a dramatic and more suitable to his idea. Thus, we can say that the picture of the intertwined stories of the two stories complement each other.