Famous Portraits – Portrait Of Dr. GachetPosted: September 2, 2011
When we hear the name “Vincent van Gogh” we immediately think of two things: his impressionist paintings full of color and the fact that he cut off his ear. While his works are now worth a fortune, he was only able to sell a few paintings during his lifetime.
What is generally not known is that Vincent started painting only in his late twenties and his style was totally opposite to the one that made him famous. He started using dark earth tones and then moved on to brighter ones after being told by his brother that these were the kind of paintings that got sold.
Because of his mental illness he was assigned to Doctor Paul Gachet who took him under his custody. At first Vincent was reticent about him and was even questioning the doctor’s sanity but as the time passed by he got to accept him and even painted his portrait. The “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” depicts the doctor sitting at a table with his head held by the right hand, while the left hand rests on the table.
There we also find the books written by two brothers, probably suggesting the close relationship of Vincent and his doctor, and a vase of flowers used for a heart medication that might represent the doctor’s health condition. His eyes have a melancholic feel, also empowered by the eyebrows, and even make his physical appearance seem sick.
Through the warm colors and the blank stare van Gogh manages to depict Paul Gachet in a calm absent state that gives us strong clues about the doctor’s own condition, as seen by the artist.