Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Portrait of Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet

Sometimes referred to as The Smoker or Man with a Pipe, this rare print depicts Vincent van Gogh’s friend and physician, Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet. Executed in Auvers-sur-Oise during the final year of van Gogh’s short life, it is the artist’s only known etching. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Gachet was a skilled engraver and patron of the arts. When he moved to Auvers, he established a small print shop, where Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro produced early etchings. The doctor is believed to have suggested using this equipment to van Gogh and to have assisted in the preparation and printing of the work. Although there have been some questions about the amount of help that van Gogh received with the print, the image successfully translates his unique post-Impressionist painting style from canvas to plate.

Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853–1890
Portrait of Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet
Etching on paper
Image/plate: 7 3/16 x 5 ¾ in. (18.3 x 14.5 cm); sheet: 9 1/16 x 6 1/8 in. (23.0 x 15.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 77.52