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Vincent van Gogh (1853  1890)   Portrait of Dr. Gachet (2nd version)  Oil on canvas, 	1890  67 cm × 56 cm (23.4 in × 22.0 in)  Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France
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Title: Portrait of Dr. Gachet
Description:
Vincent van Gogh (1853 1890)
Portrait of Dr. Gachet (2nd version)
Oil on canvas, 1890
67 cm × 56 cm (23.4 in × 22.0 in)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

Portrait of Dr. Gachet is one of the most revered paintings by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh of Dr. Paul Gachet, who took care of him in his last months. In 1990, it fetched a record price of $82.5 million ($75 million, plus a 10 percent buyer's commission).

There are two authentic versions of the portrait Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1nd version), both painted in June 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris. Both show Doctor Gachet sitting at a table and leaning his head onto his right arm, but they are easily differentiated.

background

Van Gogh's thoughts returned several times to the painting by Eugène Delacroix of Torquato Tasso in the madhouse. After a visit with Paul Gauguin to Montpellier to see Alfred Bruyas's collection in the Musée Fabre, Van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo, asking if he could find a copy of the lithograph after the painting. Three and a half months earlier, he had been thinking of the painting as an example of the sort of portraits he wanted to paint: "But it would be more in harmony with what Eugène Delacroix attempted and brought off in his Tasso in Prison, and many other pictures, representing a real man. Ah! portraiture, portraiture with the thought, the soul of the model in it, that is what I think must come."

Van Gogh wrote to his brother in 1890 about the painting: I've done the portrait of M. 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.
Composition

The foxglove in the painting is a plant which digitalis is extracted for the treatment of certain heart complaints; the foxglove is thereby an attribute of Gachet as a doctor.



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Vincent van Gogh (1853  1890)   Portrait of Dr. Gachet  Oil on canvas, 	1890  67 cm × 56 cm (23.4 in × 22.0 in)  Private collection of Ryoei Saito(?)Vincent van Gogh (1853  1890)   Portrait of Dr. Gachet (2nd version)  Oil on canvas, 	1890  67 cm × 56 cm (23.4 in × 22.0 in)  Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France
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