Dr. Martens has transformed some of their most classic shoe models into canvases for classic works of art thanks to a collaboration with Tate Britain. As part of the ongoing “artist series,” Dr. Martens’ 1460 boots and 1461 shoes are decorated with artwork by masters like Hieronymous Bosch and William Hogarth. There’s even a pair stamped with a painting of George the Dragon, in homage to England’s patron saint.
The newest editions to the collection celebrate JMW Turner and William Blake, two powerful examples of late 18th-century and early 19th-century British art. Each shoe is draped in art, the cracking oil of Turner’s canvases and washed tempera of Blake’s illustrations giving a new dimension to the classic shoes.
Two of Turner’s greatest works, The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire (c. 1817) and Fisherman at Sea (c. 1796) grace the 1460 Pascal. Dr. Martens used a cracked, textured leather to replicate the texture of Turner’s canvas, selecting examples of his historical and landscape painting to great effect. Turner was selected by the company as he embodied the wild, carefree lifestyle of the brand. “Ever an eccentric and living always by his own rules, he was a true original,” Docs writes.
Alternatively, William Blake’s work is emblazoned on the 1460 boots, but also Doc Martens’ 1461 shoes. Poet, painter, and printmaker, Blake was a pioneer known for his freethinking views that bucked the system—a perfect match for a company that has come to symbolize underground subcultures. Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils, which graces the 1460 boots, is the painted version of an intaglio print from Blake’s epic Illustrations of the Book of Job. Completed in 1825, the engravings were his last, prior to his death.
Blake’s 1461 shoes are printed with an earlier work, The House of Death, which illustrates a line from Milton’s legendary poem Paradise Lost. The washed out, soft colors make a perfect, and subtle, addition to the series.
So if you’re looking to make a fashion statement and wear your favorite artist on your feet, check out the Turner and Blake editions before they sell out like previous editions.
In collaboration with Tate Britain, Dr. Martens has released limited edition shoes paying homage to JMW Turner and William Blake.
The JMW Turner boots use crackled leather to simulate the surface of his canvases.
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