Vincent who had just
spent a miserable year in Saint Rémy asylum, decided after his
latest fit, to go to Paris. He thought of being greeted at Pissaros,
whom he deemed as a wiseman, and asked Theo to contact him. Unfortunately,
Pissaro wouldnt be able to grant him what he wanted, and suggested
Auvers sur Oise where Doctor Gachet, a painters friend and himself
a painter, would take care of him.
Moreover, Gachet has an engraving press that Vincent could use.
After a stay in Paris that he prefered to shorten, Vincent went to Auvers
to see Doctor Gachet.
On their first meeting, the latter left a bad impression on him, he found
him strange, shaken by nervous fits at least as seriously as me.
As they had the same passion for modern art and the Impressionnists, he
ended in appreciating him and treated him as a friend, almost as a brother.
Vincent was often invited to Sunday meals and he offered him several studies.
Doctor Gachet, who lived with his son Paul,15, and his daughter Marguerite,21,
greatly complimented him on his work and wanted him to make her portrait.
He went several times to the inn where Vincent was staying to admire the
works from Saint Rémy.
Invited by the Doctor, Theo, Jo, and their baby came to spend a day in
Auvers. It looks as if the Doctor closed his door to Vincent after the
portrait of Marguerite at the piano. Was he afraid that Vincent became
too familiar with Marguerite?
Doctor Gachet would only see Vincent again when he was called at his bedside
after his suicide attempt. He roughly bandaged him up and did nothing
to save him.
Gachet made Vincents portrait on his deathbed and said a few words
on his grave.
The doctors personality sparked off many debates: a false friend,
a forger, a story-teller... ...And so did his sons, a copy of him,
even in the looks, claiming he was the one to know the truth about Vincents
stay in Auvers.
Vincent made several portraits of Doctor Gachet, included this one (from
May), at the beginning of Vincents stay.