The Shoes of Van Gogh

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Front Cover of The Shoes of Van Gogh

The Shoes of Van Gogh

A Spiritual and Artistic Journey to the Ordinary

One of the few paintings Van Gogh signed and titled, he called it “one of my only works with deep meaning.”  How can one painting inside a café for poor workers serve as a key to the artist’s spiritual journey?

This personal and reflective book is an exploration of Vincent Van Gogh as spiritual guide, specifically as the most important spiritual guide for great teachers such as Henri Nouwen. Topics include Van Gogh's life, Van Gogh's conversion from drawing to painting, and the evocative power of still life versus portrait. Package includes 10 drawings from Van Gogh and is designed for easy reading.

Reviews and endorsements

“Once again Cliff Edwards has taken us on that bridge which connects our lives to the deep experiences of the creative mentors of our era. This time we walk in the shoes of Vincent van Gogh. But not the Vincent of the museum or the movies. Here is a full picture of Vincent on his life journey with joys, sorrows, and spiritual challenges we all recognize.  This book is important to anyone searching, with Vincent and Cliff Edwards, for the healing truth of our existence.”
—Brother Tolbert McCarroll, Starcross Community; author of Childsong/Monksong, and Thinking with the Heart


“Only the probing mind of a scholarly sleuth coupled with Edwards’ emphatic capacity to see could combust to create this book. He reveals the haunting sense of the sacred necessitating Van Gogh’s work, bequeathed to us despite horrendous obstacles as hallelujahs. Excerpted letters, remarks pertaining to particular paintings, and insights from Henri Nouwen, Emily Dickinson, and Rainer Maria Rilke combine to make central Van Gogh’s spiritual quest, thereby toppling established interpretations. Now I understand rather than sense, why my pilgrimages to Van Gogh’s work feel like worship.”
Catherine Kapikian, Director of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Seminary


“Professor Edwards’ latest study of Van Gogh, which skillfully integrates anecdotal material and scholarly, aesthetic analysis, will be appreciated for its personal style as well as its original and challenging revelations. With no fanfare, Edwards can fashion sensible statements into a sound argument that reaches a disarmingly unconventional conclusion. Thus, he is a figure with whom other van Gogh scholars must surely come to terms. Not only does Edwards illumine van Gogh and his works, but he encourages the reader’s own fresh perception, reflection, and introspection, as when he uses an Asian lens to discover unexpected meanings in the life and art of van Gogh.”
Dr. Earle Coleman, professor of philosophy and aesthetics, author of Creativity and Spirituality: Bonds Between Art and Religion

Paperback / 176 pages
Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4

Art, Spirituality, Nouwen, Van Gogh