Doctor Gachet's Garden in Auvers Vincent van Gogh Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Doctor Gachet's Garden in Auvers is a large oil painting by the Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh. The artist painted the piece of art in 1890 when he was residing at his homeopathic physician, Paul Gachet.

After staying at an asylum in Saint-Rémy for about a year, Van Gogh left the hospital for Paris where he stayed for three days with his brother Theo, Johanna - Theo's wife, and their newborn baby Vincent. Van Gogh then left Saint-Rémy for Auvers-sur-Oise to be near his brother but away from the bustle of the city.

While the painter was in Saint-Rémy, Theo, his brother developed a plan for Van Gogh to visit Dr Paul Gatchet, a doctor specialising in nervous disorders and art patron who lived in Auvers. The plan also included the painter residing at a nearby inn while under the care of the homeopathic physician. The plan was essential as there was a chance the painter would suffer further psychotic attacks as he had in Saint-Rémy and Arles.

With a deep interest in art and considerable medical experience, Gachet who had been recommended to Theo by the Danish-French painter, Camille Pissarro, seemed right for the job. He knew many contemporary artists including Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, and Auguste Renoir and collected their work. The doctor also painted in his spare time. The Dutch painter felt understood by the eccentric doctor, who became his confidant. He developed a close relationship with the physician who he described as "something like another brother."

Van Gogh loved gardens; from his father's gardens in the Netherlands, the garden he had in his rental house in London when he was an art dealer to the many paintings that he made of plants, flowers, and other gardens. His love for gardens is depicted in his impressionist paintings of the Saint-Rémy asylum, Arles hospital, Dr. Paul Gachet's Garden in Auvers and the gardens of Charles Daubigny.

He even wrote letters to his brother Theo and sister Willemina about gardening and the benefits of working in a garden. Known for his interest in sunflowers, the Dutch painter also made art pieces with grasses, irises, trees, red poppies, and other garden plants. The colours used in his paintings may have suggested his mood. For example, when in a good mood, the painter used bright colours such as vibrant oleanders. When he was depressed, he painted "ghostly white-hooded arums." When he was struggling with internal conflict, he painted using dark green spire like contorted olive trees vibrant with silvery leaves and cypresses writhing with energy.

In late June (1890), the Dutch painter wrote of his interest to paint Marguerite Gachet. A few days later, he wrote that she had posed for the painting and that he painted her in a pink dress playing the piano. Both garden pantings were Dr Gatchet's collection until 1954 when they became state property and allotted to the gallery of Jeu de Paume, Louvre museum. The paintings were at the Jeu de Paume, which is also known as the Musée de l’Impressionisme, from 1954 to 1986 and were later transferred to the Musée d'Orsay where they now reside.