A Theological Aesthetics of Resistance: Vincent Van Gogh as reader of Dostoyevsky

Research output: Working paperPreprint


This paper aims to analyze painting practices as an expression of a political spirituality as conceived from the perspective of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. For him, political spirituality could be viewed as a production of a new subjectivity featured by the exercise of transform oneself in the face the imposition of a power that intends to subdue individuals. In this way, political spirituality is at the same time selfcare and a form of political resistance. Within this approach, one intends to identify how the figure of Dostoyevsky was decisive for the development of a way of resilience in the famous painter Vincent van Gogh, who suffered from the same illness as the Russian writer, namely epilepsy. Such a resilience experience by the Dutch painter inspired the creation of the Yellow Houses and the development of the perspective of the Blood Mystic by the artist and filmmaker, George Gittoes, who has carried out artistic interventions within war zones as a kind of spiritual exercise of political resistance through the art. His last interventions were precisely carried out in the city of Kyiv and surroundings, especially in the ruins of the Central House of Culture in the city of Irpin during the period of the Russian government invasion.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationChicago
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2023


  • Political spirituality
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Fyodor Dostoievski
  • George Gittoes
  • War of Ukraine


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