Vincent van Gogh and the Allegory of the Road

Jared Baxter, an independent researcher in the United States, will be a Featured Speaker at The Paris Conference on Arts & Humanities (PCAH2022), with his presentation titled “Vincent van Gogh and the Allegory of the Road”. PCAH2022 will be held alongside The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022), June 16-19, 2022.

To participate in PCE/PCAH2022 as an audience member, please register for the conference.

The presentation will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.


Vincent van Gogh and the Allegory of the Road

Paris, 1886 – Broke, Vincent van Gogh moves in with his younger brother Theo, a successful art gérant. Over the next two years, Vincent meets the Impressionists, their secular influences well-documented.

Vincent’s original stint as a Parisian denizen, however, came a decade earlier while being groomed for the role Theo would assume. Vincent’s last chance to prove himself a capable art dealer, he was too distracted and obsessed with the scriptures. He hoped, like his father, to spread the gospels; bringing consolation to the suffering. After five years with his uncle’s firm, Vincent was fired, admonished to never set foot in Goupils again.

Vincent retreated to London. On Sunday, October 29th, 1876, he delivered his first sermon at the Wesleyan Methodist Church. He borrowed heavily from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. The homily was impassioned with Vincent’s belief that we are all pilgrims on earth, on a long, upward road to reconnect with God. Today, art historians are fortunate that he recorded the entirety of those thoughts in a letter to Theo.

This presentation seeks to refine and redefine Vincent’s complicated Christology, exploring the allegory of the road in dozens of his later sketches, drawings and paintings; arguing, while his style and aesthetics constantly evolved over his ten-year career as an artist, Vincent’s desire to visually spread the gospels remained his raison d’être.

Speaker Biography

Jared Baxter
Independent Researcher, United States

Jared BaxterJared Baxter is an independent researcher living in Washougal, Washington, USA. Over the last six years, his research has focused on Vincent van Gogh, in particular, how Vincent's enduring embrace of Christianity manifested itself in his later life and artwork. His research has been published in the January, 2014 Art History Supplement, and the July, 2014 Anistoriton Journal of History, Archaeology and Art History. Numerous mainstream outlets have also commented on his work including The Huffington Post, ArtNet News, The Siouxland Observer, and The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown.

Mr Baxter has participated in several previous IAFOR conferences, including as a Featured Speaker at the 2015 & 2021 Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH) and as the Keynote Speaker at the 2019 European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH). He has accepted invitations to other academic conferences, including the 2015 Dutch Association of Aesthetics and the 2016 International Conference on The Arts in Society. He is currently filming a documentary, learn more at

Posted by IAFOR