ⓘ Marguerite Gachet

Marguerite Gachet

ⓘ Marguerite Gachet

Gachet was born in 1869 to Paul Gachet and his wife. Her younger brother was born at the familys new home in Auvers-sur-Oise. She met Van Gogh when she was nineteen. He painted her in the family garden on 1 June 1890. He came to stay with her father, Paul Gachet for several weeks towards the end of his life. Her father was a doctor, an amateur artist and a friend of leading impressionist painters. Paul Cezanne had helped her father create an attic studio. The date of Van Goghs painting of her is certain as one of Van Goghs frequent letters to his brother, Theo, details the painting. Vincent describes the cypresses and flowers in Dr Gachets garden and the "white figure" he included.

For some weeks Van Gogh proposed that would make a painting of her. He made two sketches of Gachet at the piano, and again he wrote to his brother on 26/27 June to tell him that he had started the painting. Van Gogh commented to his brother that he thought that Theos wife, Jo, would get on well with Marguerite.

The paintings appeared in catalogues in 1928 but they were owned privately.

Van Gogh gave both of the paintings to Gachets father who kept them. The paintings were first exhibited after they were donated by Paul Gachet in 1954 to the Mussee dOrsay in Paris.

Gachet never married and she died in 1949. She was buried in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. The pictures of her and many other valuable family paintings were given to a museum – her brother got the credit.