FINDING VAN GOGH
“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.
Find out more on www.findingvangogh.com
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