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Art History Versus Philosophy.wps

Art History Versus Philosophy.wps

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Published by JOHN A WALKER
a 1980 essay by John A Walker about how art history and philosophy have clashed over the interpretation of a painting of shoes by van Gogh
a 1980 essay by John A Walker about how art history and philosophy have clashed over the interpretation of a painting of shoes by van Gogh

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: JOHN A WALKER on Oct 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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COPYRIGHT 2009)Illus 1. Vincent van Gogh,
 A pair of old shoes
, (Paris 1886). Oil on canvas, 37.5 x45.5 cm. Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This paper is an account of, and a contribution to, a dispute between a number of scholars from various disciplines about the meaning of a painting depicting two old
shoes executed by Vincent van Gogh in the 1880s. The painting has been inter-preted differently by different scholars in the years since it was produced; hence,what we are concerned with here is its reception through time. (This paper is,therefore, a contribution to what is called 'reception history'.) (1) To some readersit may seem that a remarkable amount of fuss is being made about a trivial matter,yet in the course of this theoretical debate fundamental issues concerning thenature of art and truth, the mechanisms of signs, and the methodology of arthistory are raised. As I hope to show, in the last resort the battle for the meaning of the van Gogh painting is a political struggle.At the outset it is necessary to give a chronology of the events leading to thepresent situation:1884-85 At Nuenen, Holland, Vincent van Gogh painted still-life pictures including,amongst the objects depicted, pairs of wooden clogs or sabots.Illus 2. Vincent van Gogh,
 Still life with earthenware, bottle and clogs
, (Nuenen,September 1885), oil on canvas on panel, Otterlo: Kroller-Muller Museum.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1886-7 In Paris, Vincent painted a series of pictures of old shoes and boots. Laterin Arles in 1888 he painted two more pictures of old shoes and sabots.Illus 3. Vincent van Gogh,
Three pairs of old shoes, one shoe upside down,
(Paris1887). Oil on canvas. Cambridge MA: Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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