Portrait of Doctor Gachet or Man with a Pipe
Vincent van Gogh Dutch
Printer Paul-Ferdinand Gachet
Not on view
Van Gogh made this print—his only etching—just six weeks before his death. In May 1890, Van Gogh left the asylum in Saint-Rémy for Auvers-sur-Oise, where he was under the care of Dr. Paul Ferdinand Gachet. The doctor was an amateur etcher, who signed his works "Van Ryssel." He provided Van Gogh with an etching plate and needle and the opportunity to use the press in his home. The artist chose to etch Gachet’s portrait, which he also painted twice in oil (Private Collection, Tokyo and Musée d’Orsay, Paris). This impression is inscribed on the inside of the folded sheet as an artist’s proof printed by Van Ryssel/Gachet and is richly inked and selectively wiped. Van Gogh expressed enthusiasm for the medium and wrote to his brother Theo of his desire to continue to collaborate with Gachet to create more etchings based on his paintings from the south of France. Regrettably, his death by suicide on July 29, 1890 prevented him from realizing the project.