You can see a picture to the left of Van Gogh's original Shoes painting and there are also links beside it which offer art print reproductions of the original from recommended art retailer, Art.com. Van Gogh seemed very interested in footwear as a topic for his paintings, with several related works also coming around the same time including other paintings of shoes and also some boots as well which can be found further down the page. It is likely that the reason for their inclusion in his work was not simply that the artist liked shoes, but that he could use them to tell an abstract story about a character, which in these cases would be the peasants who owned the shoes and were living a hard life which perhaps was reflected by the worn appearance of their boots or shoes.
Shoes is an example of how Van Gogh found it important to cover the lives of the worst off people that he would come across, or at least ordinary people as he saw them when art of that time would typicaly ignore them in favour of the rich and famous of that era. Van Gogh felt ordinary lives and the difficulties of them should be covered in art, as seen first in his masterpiece of The Potato Eaters. Shoes follows on from this by drawing attention to some beaten shoes of manual labourers.
Van Gogh interestingly would treat paintings such as his boots or shoes with as much attention and respect as if producing a portrait and would get great satisfaction from including even everyday objects in his paintings which most other artists would normally overlook.
Boots came in 1887 and was another painting similar to the artist's Shoes, and holding a similarly symbolic and enthuastic style. This particular work has a darkened feel and again relies on his love for oranges against blue which was a great contrasting combination that was repeated across many different works right across his career. Boots is now held in the Baltimore Museum of Art.
At the time of painting Boots Van Gogh was living in relative poverty and he could not afford models for his works. He claimed that with more finance he would have given himself entirely to figurative painting but instead was forced to find topics for his paintings around his relatively poor environment. The artist quickly accepted his situation and was still inspired by objects he found around him such as with the boots and shoes included within this website.
Chair included above was one of several interesting items also found in the painting of his bedroom of around the same period. The artist placed objects on this chair to give it a little more interest in this case which were his smoking equipment. Vincent believed smoking could help to relieve his mental problems at least in the short term. Chair features his typical choice of colours with oranges and yellows contrasting with blues and greens as seen in so many of his works. You can buy Van Gogh chair art prints here.
Irises was one of Van Gogh's best flower paintings and also includes them within the French countryside of which the Dutchman was a huge fan and produced most of his best work whilst here. Besides the painting, Vincent also used Irises several times as still life works, sometimes in conjunction with other flowers to give a more varied appearance of colour, shape and texture. You can read more about Van Gogh Irises here.
Bedroom in Arles is a classic oil painting from Van Gogh which makes a charming reproduction for most homes with it's colourful rendition of the artist's old home where he once lived with fellow painter Paul Gauguin where they bounced off each other in an attempt to further progress their careers with new ideas and techniques. Within Bedroom in Arles, you may also notice Vincent's Chair which is covered in full previously in this website. You can read more about Van Gogh Bedroom here.
Vincent van Gogh's Most Expensive Paintings
Despite failing to achieve any great success within his own lifetime, Van Gogh has been involved in many of the highest priced sales of any artworks. We include his most expensive originals below:
- Portrait of Dr. Gachet
- Portrait of Joseph Roulin
- Portrait de l’artiste sans barbe
- Self-portrait with bandaged ear
- Wheatfield with Cypresses
- Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers
Famous Dutch Artists
Van Gogh was a famous Dutch post-impressionist artist but most of the key painters to have come from this region formed the Dutch Golden Age, some of whom's members are listed below.
- Frans Hals
- Hendrick Avercamp
- Hendrick Terbruggen
- Willem Claeszoon Heda
- Jan van Goyen
- Pieter Jansz Saenredam
- Salomon van Ruysdael
- Adriaen Brouwer
- Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
- Jan Lievens
- Adriaen van Ostade
- Willem van de Velde
- Govert Flinck
- Ferdinand Bol
- Emanuel de Witte
- Gerard Terborch
- Philips Wouwermans
- Albert Cuyp
- Carel Fabritius
- Paulus Potter
- Jan Steen
- Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruysdael
- Gabriel Metsu
- Pieter de Hooch
- Johannes Vermeer
- Nicolaes Maes
- Meindert Hobbema