6 episodes

In search of the legendary “Portrait of Dr Gachet”. The last great portrait by Vincent van Gogh disappeared from the public eye three decades ago. The podcast series FINDING VAN GOGH traces the painting’s eventful history – to get to the bottom of the question: where is the masterpiece now?

FINDING VAN GOGH (English Version) Städel Museum

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7, 17 Ratings

In search of the legendary “Portrait of Dr Gachet”. The last great portrait by Vincent van Gogh disappeared from the public eye three decades ago. The podcast series FINDING VAN GOGH traces the painting’s eventful history – to get to the bottom of the question: where is the masterpiece now?

    V. Private Matters

    V. Private Matters

    “In general when people don’t know where a painting is, they say it’s in a private collection in Switzerland. That’s the standard response.”

    Where is the “Portrait of Dr Gachet” now? Since the historical auction in 1990, the artwork has never been on view to the public again. Its last three decades begin in Japan and lead to an Austrian – and shady business dealings in the Caribbean. Finally, Johannes comes surprisingly close to the work’s present owner in New York. Which is not to say that the “Portrait of Dr Gachet” couldn’t also be in Switzerland.

    • 30 min
    IV. Gachet’s Farewell

    IV. Gachet’s Farewell

    The “Portrait of Dr Gachet” has meanwhile changed owners thirteen times – and now it’s writing art market history. How did it come about: the historical auction where the painting broke all the price records? Johannes travels to Christie’s in London to meet with Christopher Burge, the auctioneer who auctioned the portrait in 1990. Burge recounts how not only the prices but also something else exploded in New York at the time. What path has the international art market taken since then?

    • 37 min
    III. Genius and Madness

    III. Genius and Madness

    The “Portrait of Dr Gachet” is in storage in a granary in Berlin along with thousands of other confiscated artworks. Here it comes to the attention of one of the leading National Socialists: Hermann Göring wants to turn it into cash abroad. By a circuitous route, the work finds its way into the possession of a Jewish family in Amsterdam who are compelled to flee the Nazis themselves a short time later The “Portrait of Dr Gachet” goes to New York with them. There it not only witnesses how times change, but also how the image of van Gogh evolves: Is there any truth in the myth of the mad genius? Can van Gogh’s art be separated from his biography?

    • 32 min
    II. „Degenerate Art“

    II. „Degenerate Art“

    Frankfurt, Germany, 1905. Georg Swarzenski is appointed director of the Städel at the age of 30. He wants to open the richly traditional museum for exciting new art. In 1911, he purchases the “Portrait of Dr Gachet” in Paris – an act that makes a strong statement in the unyielding German Empire. Swarzenski very skilfully develops the Städel into a modern museum. In 1933, however, when he is at the height of his career, the Third Reich descends upon him. Swarzenski is of Jewish descent but not only personally under existential threat: his lifework, the modern collection, is also the target of attack. The “Portrait of Dr Gachet”, the silent observer of all these goings-on, is confiscated in 1937 and declared “degenerate art”. This is a chapter in the painting’s history that bears witness to the brutal and contradictory ideology of the National Socialists – and to the importance they attach to art.

    • 34 min
    I. The Missing Neurologist

    I. The Missing Neurologist

    Johannes and the curator Alexander Eiling are standing in the Städel Museum’ storage room – in front of an empty picture frame. It is the frame that once held the “Portrait of Dr Gachet”, which was in the Städel collection until 1937. The present owner: anonymous. The museum long made every effort to obtain the painting as a loan for its upcoming van Gogh exhibition – in vain. Instead, the empty picture frame will serve in the show as a reminder of the work’s breath-taking history. The tale begins in Auvers-sur-Oise, a small town outside Paris. It is there that van Gogh paints the portrait of his doctor just a few weeks before he commits suicide. How is the painting linked to van Gogh’s own biography? What makes it a masterwork?

    • 44 min
    Introducing

    Introducing

    In search of the legendary “Portrait of Dr Gachet”. The last great portrait by Vincent van Gogh disappeared from the public eye three decades ago. The podcast series FINDING VAN GOGH traces the painting’s eventful history – to get to the bottom of the question: where is the masterpiece now?

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

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