Portrait of Doctor Gachet 1890
Vincent Van Gogh
|Title||Portrait of Doctor Gachet 1890|
|Artist||Vincent Van Gogh|
|Paper Size (W x H)||23 x 28 ins|
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Portrait of Dr. Gachet is one of the most revered paintings by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. It depicts Dr. Paul Gachet, who took care of van Gogh during the final months of his life. There are two authenticated versions of the portrait, both painted in June 1890 at Auvers, France. Both show Doctor Gachet sitting at a table and leaning his head on his right arm, but they are easily differentiated in colour and style.
In 1990, this version fetched a record price of $82.5 million when sold at auction in New York.
Van Gogh painted Gachet resting his right elbow on a red table, head in hand. Two yellow books as well as the purple medicinal herb foxglove are displayed on the table. The foxglove in the painting is a plant from which digitalis is extracted for the treatment of certain heart complaints, perhaps an attribute of Gachet as a doctor.
The doctor's "sensitive face", which Van Gogh famously wrote to Paul Gauguin carried "the heartbroken expression of our time", is described by Robert Wallace as the portrait's focus. Wallace described the ultramarine blue coat of Gachet, set against a background of hills painted a lighter blue, as highlighting the "tired, pale features and transparent blue eyes that reflect the compassion and melancholy of the man." Van Gogh himself claimed this expression of melancholy "would seem to look like a grimace to many who saw the canvas".
The print is hand numbered and accompanied by a certificate signed by the Master Printer and bearing a matching number to the print.
About the Artist
Vincent Van Gogh
The son of a Dutch minister, Vincent van Gogh was born in 1853 . He then took up painting around 1880 after working as an art dealer, a teacher and a missionary. He worked prodigiously and was concentrating particularly on scenes of peasant life.Find out more