Portrait of Doctor Gachet
See all nine prints of Van Gogh’s only etching in the Van Gogh Museum collection.
Vincent van Gogh first experimented with the etching technique while in Auvers-sur-Oise. The print that he made reveals his special connection with Dr Gachet.
Vincent van Gogh moved to Auvers-sur-Oise in May 1890. The village was close to Paris, where his brother Theo was living at the time, and there was a doctor who could keep an eye on Vincent.
This doctor, Paul Ferdinand Gachet (1828-1909) had an affinity with art and liked to keep the company of artists. His medical practice was in Paris, but he purchased a second house in Auvers in 1872. Here he made his own etchings, using the pseudonym Paul van Ryssel.
The doctor had an etching press in the attic of his country house, and successfully inspired a number of modern artists – including Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro and Armand Guillaumin – to experiment with printing.
Van Gogh also made his first (and only) etching with Gachet as his guide. He printed the etching using black ink, but also experimented with different colours.
This small-scale exhibition includes various prints of Van Gogh’s only etching, from the VanGogh Museum collection. It also introduces Dr Gachet’s artistic breeding ground and the etching revival underway with artists at the time.
In the video below, Associate Curator Sara Tas visits Auvers-sur-Oise and talks about the research into Gachet and Van Gogh's relationship. Dutch spoken with English and Dutch subtitles.
This exhibition runs concurrently with the exhibition Van Gogh in Auvers. His Final Months and stems from a research project that is supported by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.