FINDING VAN GOGH (English Version)

In search of the legendary “Portrait of Dr Gachet”. The last great portrait by Vincent van Gogh disappeared from the public eye three decades ago. The podcast series FINDING VAN GOGH traces the painting’s eventful history – to get to the bottom of the question: where is the masterpiece now?


episode 2: I. The Missing Neurologist


“He painted it really not just as a portrait of Dr Gachet but as a self-portrait and as a portrait of the modern artist. And also the state of mind of the modern world.”

Johannes and the curator Alexander Eiling are standing in the Städel Museum’ storage room – in front of an empty picture frame. It is the frame that once held the Portrait of Dr Gachet, which was in the Städel collection until 1937. The present owner: anonymous. The museum long made every effort to obtain the painting as a loan for its upcoming van Gogh exhibition – in vain. Instead, the empty picture frame will serve in the show as a reminder of the work’s breath-taking history. The tale begins in Auvers-sur-Oise, a small town outside Paris. It is there that van Gogh paints the portrait of his doctor just a few weeks before he commits suicide. How is the painting linked to van Gogh’s own biography? What makes it a masterwork?

FINDING VAN GOGH is a podcast series by the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, in cooperation with Johannes Nichelmann and Jakob Schmidt.

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picture credits: Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Dr Gachet, 1890, private collection, photo: Bridgeman Images // Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, ca. 1890, Van Gogh Museum (Tralbaut archive) // The empty picture frame of Vincent van Gogh’s “Portrait of Dr Gachet” in the storage room of the Städel Museum, 2001, photo: Holde Schneider


 2019-09-12  44m