Portrait of Dr Gachet by Vincent van Gogh

The Portrait of Dr. Gachet was one of the most famous pieces of art that Vincent Van Gogh ever painted. Nearing the end of his brief life, Van Gogh was admitted into the doctor’s clinic, where he underwent treatment for his mental illnesses.

At this time, Van Gogh developed a friendship with Dr. Gachet, which inspired him to paint two portraits of the doctor as a sign of their friendship. He even gave one of them to Dr. Gachet himself.

Who was Dr. Gachet?

Paul Ferdinand Gachet was a French physician who treated Vincent Van Gogh during the final stages of his life in Auver-sur-Oise. He was a huge supporter of artists, and the current artistic trend at that time, which was Impressionism. He was also an amateur painter, who painted under the pseudonym, Paul van Ryssel.

Before his death in 1909, he was known to have one of the largest art collections in the entire continent of Europe.

How much did the Portrait of Dr. Gachet sell for?

During his time in Auver-sur-Oise, Van Gogh received consultation and treatment from Dr. Gachet. Although the two were relatively friendly with each other, Van Gogh rarely followed the doctor’s advice, which worsened his condition.

Due to the close friendship between them, Van Gogh painted two portraits of the doctor during his final months. The first version of the portrait went on to sell for an unprecedented $82.5 million at an auction in New York in 1990.

The amount was record setting at that time and completely unexpected.

Who bought the portrait of Dr. Gachet?

Christy’s, the auction house that sold the painting in 1990, initially valued the painting at 40 to 50 million dollars before the auction happened. There were some that considered the estimate to be overly optimistic, since art sales were somewhat stagnant at that time.

In the end, Ryoei Saito from Daishowa Paper Manufacturing company, bid a record breaking 82.5 million dollars to win the bid. This surprised all the attendees at the auction, since no one expected that the painting would sell for so much.

Where is the Portrait of Dr. Gachet now?

After the auction in May 1990, the painting went to Ryoei Saito from the Daishowa Paper Manufacturing company. He died in 1996, leaving the whereabouts of the painting a mystery.

In 2007, reports were made that said that the painting was sold a decade earlier, in 1997, to an Austrian man known as Wolfgang Flottl. Upon further investigation, it was known that the painting was further sold to unknown parties who’ve yet to reveal themselves.

How many versions of Dr. Gachet are there?

In his final days, Van Gogh painted the portrait of Dr. Gachet, as goodwill to a friend. Initially, it was believed that there was only one authentic version of the Portrait of Dr. Gachet. But there was a second version, owned by the late doctor himself, as a part of his private collection.

Both paintings were painted in 1890, although the first version was sold for a record $82.5 million.

What was Van Gogh’s relationship with Dr. Gachet?

Initially, Van Gogh did not approve of Dr. Gachet. Van Gogh felt that he was unqualified to treat him properly, since he viewed the doctor to be just as sickly as he was.

In a letter to his sister, he mentioned that he felt a friendship with the doctor, as someone that he could have a true friendship with.

Although they appeared to share a good friendship, it was to be noted that Van Gogh didn’t take the medical advice of the doctor seriously, continuing his smoking and drinking habits, eventually worsening his health issues.

How much would the portrait of Dr. Gachet be worth now?

One thing to be noted when valuing Van Gogh’s work is that although there are plenty of other painters whose work has been sold in the high millions, no other artist has had so many of their paintings sell for such high values.

Adjusting the value of the biggest sale for inflation, the Portrait of Dr.Gachet would be worth somewhere around 149 million dollars today. Of course, the value may also increase if the painting was placed under auction again, after it is found.

Where was the Portrait of Dr. Gachet painted?

During his time at Auvers-sur-Oise, Van Gogh was under the care of Dr. Gachet, who did his best to try and treat the mental illness the artist faced. After a time, they developed a friendship with each other.

Van Gogh painted two paintings of Dr. Gachet, both in the year 1890, in Auvers-sur-Oise, at the asylum in Saint-Remy. The second version of the painting was given to the doctor as a gift.

When was the Portrait of Dr. Gachet painted?

In 1890, Vincent Van Gogh’s mental illness became severe. As a result, his younger brother Theo searched for a place to treat him. Eventually, they found the clinic of Dr. Gachet in Auvers-sur-Oise, where the doctor cared for him until he died there in the same year.

In this year of 1890, Van Gogh developed a friendship with Dr.Gachet and painted two portraits of him.

Where was the Portrait of Dr. Gachet auctioned?

In 1990, the Kramersky family, who possessed the painting, put it up for auction with Christy’s auction house in New York. It eventually went on to get a bid of $82.5 million dollars, breaking world records as the most expensive painting ever sold.

What is the background of the painting of the Portrait of Dr. Gachet?

By 1890, Vincent Van Gogh’s mental illness became so severe that his doting younger brother Theo could no longer help him. This led him to search for professional help who could treat his brother. At the recommendation of another artist, Theo sought the help of Dr. Gachet.

During the time the doctor cared for Van Gogh, the two developed a friendship, which eventually led to the artist painting this portrait.

How many times has the Portrait of Dr. Gachet been sold?

Initially, the portrait was kept with Vincent’s younger brother, Theo. After Theo’s death, the painting changed hands in 1891. Over time, the painting was sold and transferred a number of times, before eventually making it’s way to the auction block on 1990.

Counting all of the times the painting changed ownership through the provenance, the Portrait of Dr. Gachet was sold at least fifteen times. It currently remains in a private collection, the identity of whom is unknown.

Where is the second version of the Portrait of Dr. Gachet now?

There were two portraits of Dr. Gachet that Van Gogh painted. The second one was gifted to the doctor by Van Gogh himself, which was bequeathed to the Republic of France by the heirs of the doctor.

Currently, the second version of the portrait sits in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, where it is open for viewers to enjoy. The location of the first is unknown, and the only clue is that it’s in a private collection.

Has Van Gogh ever made an etching of the Portrait of Dr. Gachet?

During his time at the clinic in Saint Remy, Van Gogh was introduced to etching by Dr. Gachet. As a result, an etching of the portrait of Dr.Gachet was made by Van Gogh.

Although it was initially disputed to be the work of Van Gogh, analysis revealed that it was indeed authentic, and found to be reminiscent of the late artist’s painting style. Currently, the etching is owned by the National Gallery of Canada.

Why has Dr. Gachet been blamed for Van Gogh’s death?

Van Gogh was mentally ill at the time of his admittance to Dr. Gachet’s clinic. During his stay there, Van Gogh eventually shot himself and died. This left many people blaming the doctor for Van Gogh’s death, since they believed that he did not administer proper care to Van Gogh.

Since Gachet was so familiar with artists, he was expected to have known Van Gogh well enough to prevent it from happening. A few others blame him for the poor care that the artist received after the injury.

Which other artists was Dr. Gachet friends with?

Being a physician who treated artists, Gachet had a number of friends who were prominent artists, other than Van Gogh. Some of them include Renoir, Manet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Goeneutte, and many others.

His reach into the artistic community was far and wide, which helped him amass his private collection of impressionist paintings.

Was Van Gogh happy with his painting of Portrait of Dr. Gachet?

After Van Gogh painted the portrait, he wrote a letter to his sister talking about the painting. He expressed his satisfaction in capturing the gentle sadness of the doctor, as well as his intelligent nature. He also expressed his opinion mentioning that this was how portraits should be done.

Has Dr. Gachet been suspected of being the painter of Portrait of Dr. Gachet?

Due to the fact that Van Gogh mentioned only details of the first version of the portrait in his letters to his sister and brother, the authenticity of the second version of the portrait came into question.

In addition to this, it was known that Dr. Gachet was a painter himself, and could have taken it upon himself to produce a replica of the work. Another aspect was that Gachet’s sons used to make copies of post-impressionist paintings, albeit under a pseudonym.

But after testing, it was found that the painting was authentic, and painted by Van Gogh himself.

Did Van Gogh actually paint the second version of Portrait of Dr. Gachet?

There were initially questions raised to the authenticity to the second version of the Portrait of Dr. Gachet. This was because there was no mention of the second version of the painting in any of Van Gogh’s letters, as well as finding that it had a slightly different painting style than what Van Gogh usually used.

But after thorough testing, it was found to be an authentic work of Van Gogh.

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    13-02-2017 15:15     Comments ( 1 )
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 painter -  03-05-2023

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