This is the Dr. Gachet you’re probably familiar with. He’s at the Musee d’Orsay, wearing what Van Gogh described as “the heartbroken expression of our time.”
If you were really paying attention, you might have noticed Dr. Gachet hanging out in other famous museums, looking entirely different.
Dr. Paul Ferdinand Gachet was no ordinary artists’ model. Nor was he an ordinary doctor. His specialty was melancholy, professionally and personally. Van Gogh was under his care during the last 80 days of his life (and proclaimed the doctor “sicker than I am” in a letter to Theo).
Gachet was friends with and treated Pissarro, Renoir, Manet and Cezanne just to name a few. He had amassed one of the largest impressionist art collections in Europe before he died in 1909. Oddly, the information out there on him is pretty sketchy.
A little backstory: He was born to a well to do…
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