A Pair of Shoes, 1886

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

Oil on Canvas, 37.5 X 45 cm
(Vincent van Gogh Stichting)
F 255

This painting of a pair of down-at-heel shoes prompts speculation on a variety of psychological questions. They have been seen as symbolizing Van Gogh’s difficult passage through life. A fellow student in Paris reported that Vincent bought these workman’s boots at a flea market, intending to use them in a still life. Finding them still a little too smart, however, he wore them on a long and rainy walk. Only then were they fit to be painted.

Van Gogh made a number of still lives with old shoes. To him, as to several of his contemporaries, they may have been symbolic of the hard yet picturesque life of the laborer.

© Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

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A Pair of Shoes, 1886


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

Oil on Canvas, 37.5 X 45 cm
(Vincent van Gogh Stichting)
F 255

This painting of a pair of down-at-heel shoes prompts speculation on a variety ...