The Portrait of Dr. Gachet


At the begining of the Summer, Vincent Van Gogh painted two similar portraits of his good friend Dr. Gachet.

Vincent was patient of the doctor, he was a cardiologist in Auvers who attend him in the last few months of his life. Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet was popular between the circle of painters in Paris. He did a bit of painting himself, and helped Vincent in his time in Auvers.

In this portraits Vincent catched the sad look in the eyes of Dr. Gachet and his melancholic expression.

Vincent Also painted some portraits of Dr, Gachet’s daughter, Marguerite.

It is important to mentio the relation between Vincent’s death and his relationship with the Gachet’s family. In the last few years have being discovered the posibility of a murder instead of a suicide. First of all, we need to say that Vincent was getting much better in auvers, everything was going forwars, he sold his first painting (The Red Vine), also got a very positive review in a Paris art paper, by the art critic Albert Aurier. So why killing himself then?

He didn’t owned a gun, either!

Ten years ago the Gachet family were implicated in ….what? A murder…

We doin’t know for sure what really happended.

When Vincent was wounded , Dr. Gachet only cleaned the wounds and let him smoke his pipe, waiting for the moment he died. He called Theo, brother of Vincent Van Gogh, and they waited until Vincent died. But, the good doctor did not do anything else to help him.

“I have painted a portrait of Dr. Gachet with a melancholy expression, which might well seem like a grimace to those who see it. . . . Sad but gentle, yet clear and intelligent, that is how many portraits ought to be done. . . . There are modern heads that may be looked at for a long time, and that may perhaps be looked back on with longing a hundred years later.” 

VINCENT VAN GOGH, JUNE 1890

Doctor Gachet portrait was sold in auction for $82.5 million ($75 million, plus a 10 percent buyer’s commission).

The record auction price topped the previous champion, van Gogh’s Irises. A japanese multimillionaire bought it ant took it to Tokio, where he left it unseen by anyone for seven years.

Then the Japanese industrialist Ryoei Saito, the owner, had some legal problems and died years later. He joked about his wish to get the famous painting cremated with him, nobody found that funny. When he died in 1995, nobody really knew who was the new owner of Dr. Gachet portrait, it remains stil unknown the location of these particular painting.

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