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Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)

PORTRAIT OF DR. GACHET (L'HOMME À LA PIPE). 25 May 1890. de la Faille 1664: Hulsker 2028. Etching. 181 x 151 mm (7 1/8 x 5 15/16"), printed on a large sheet of thin Japanese paper. With the red cat stamp (now somewhat faded) of Dr. Gachet's son, Paul Ferdinand Gachet (Lugt 2807c), at bottom, recto. A fine impression of this great rarity. Slight foxing in outer margins, the right margin edge somewhat unevenly trimmed.

The only etching executed by one of the two most important Dutch artists of all time. There were possibly about twenty impressions printed by Dr. Gachet and van Gogh during his lifetime, and perhaps thirty printed by Dr. Gachet senior after van Gogh's death. Then, Dr. Gachet's son, Paul Ferdinand, also printed a few impressions, of which this is one.

When van Gogh came out of the hospital in Arles on 16 May 1890, he went straight to the house of Dr. Gachet in Auvers-sur-Oise, arriving there on May 20th. The press used to print the early etchings of Cézanne, Guillaumin, and Pissarro was still there. A few days later he took a small copper plate and sketched a portrait of his host. It was a tregedy that despite the help from Dr. Gachet, the artist committed suicide on 27 July and died on the 29th.






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