A Nice Pair Of Handstitched English Shoes

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20110728

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.

Writer Ian Sansom reflects on the literary significance of footwear.