Nicholson and Van Gogh: Boots Paintings
Life is comprised of different categories of pleasures. Still lifes traditionally depict scenes of food, silver, and flowers. In these cases the sensual and aesthetic pleasures of art are employed to celebrate aspects of daily life that are also sensual and aesthetic. It's a sort of a piling on or intensification of these modes of pleasure. Other pleasures of life are utilitarian, none more so than a trusty old pair of boots. It's a dynamic combination when the aesthetic sophistication of painting is focused on this category of unpretentious happiness. Here are paintings of boots by William Nicholson (bottom) and Vincent Van Gogh (top). Oh, a quick aside: Married people often lament when their partner morphs from being an object of romantic desire into being merely comfortable like an old shoe. I think that undersells the value of footwear that fits really well and lasts for years. Right?