Playing: ‘Sarabande’ from Solitaire by Sir Malcolm Arnold
Image for A Nice Pair of Handstitched English Shoes

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

A Nice Pair of Handstitched English Shoes

20 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 28 July 2011

In 1886, Vincent Van Gogh visited a Paris flea market and bought a pair of worn-out boots. They didn't fit. So he painted them instead.

Writer Ian Sansom investigates the artistic, cultural and philosophical history of shoes - from God instructing Moses to take off his sandals in front of the burning bush, to the cult of the Louboutin - and goes in search of a nice pair of handbenched English shoes.

He explores the Freudian shoe, fairy tale shoes, Van Gogh's boots (as interpreted by Heidegger and Derrida), Holocaust shoes, Jesus sandals, killer heels and poems and images of people traipsing and fleeing.
Producer Sara Davies.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss