Gauguin on van Gogh's boots, a symptom of his madness.
They were Vincent's shoes. Those that he took one fine morning,
when they were new, for his journey on foot from Holland to Belgium. The young
preacher had just finished his theological studies in order to be a minister like his
father. He had gone off to the mines to those whom he called his brothers, such as
he had seen in the Bible, the oppressed simple laborers for the luxury of the rich.
Contrary to the teaching of his wise Dutch professors, Vincent had
believed in a Jesus who loved the poor; and his soul, deeply pervaded by charity,
sought the consoling words and sacrifice for the weak, and to combat the rich.
Very decidedly, Vincent was already mad.
The irrationality of care.
From Meyer Schapiro's notes