You definitely need to listen to this, if you are interested in Art: the finding Van Gogh Podcast by Städel Museum Frankfurt. This Podcast Series isn’t a current one, it has been first published in September of 2019, in time for the start of the big Van Gogh Exhibition at the renowned art museum in Germany’s financial capital. Besides the exhibition highlighting many of Van Gogh’s masterpieces, the curators highlighted one piece by the late Vincent Van Gogh in particular. The clue, this dedicated room to this specific piece of history in the lifespan von Vincent was not even present, the room only showcased the empty original picture frame, without the canvas. This specific picture is none the less as the very last painting ever created by the artist, the Portrait of Dr Gachet.
Why the Portrait of Dr Gachet by Van Gogh is so infamously legendary
The first episode of the “finding Van Gogh” Podcast by Städel Museum Frankfurt starts with a brief introduction. About the art piece itself, and the controversies around its existence. But, does it still exist? The Podcast takes the listener around the globe, to follow the trances of this legendary Portrait of Dr Gachet. The last time this art piece has been seen by the public was during the auction in 1990. It was sold for the at that time highest price for an artwork ever, $82.5 million ($75 million, plus a 10 % buyer’s commission) at Christie’s in New York.
But how did the Portrait of Dr Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh find its way from the Städel Museum in Frankfurt to the public hand? And, above all, the Finding Van Gogh Podcast also goes into detail surrounding the final living weeks of the artist in Auvers-sur-Oise right outside Paris. (Did the homoeopathic doctor Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet fail to properly examine and treat the healthwise struggling artist?)
Tracing down the canvas
The five episodes of the Finding Van Gogh Podcast feel like a good mixture of True Crime, art history, as well as an insight into who the man Vincent probably really was. Vincent completed a first original and a second version of the Portrait of Dr Gachet painting, this Podcast is about the first one, the second one can be admired at Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Both have been completed just six weeks before Van Gogh shot himself and died from the resulting wounds.
Check it out on Spotify here. Alternatively, you will find all five episodes linked below. Just hit the play button and get started.
Additional tips: you can still very much visit the house of Dr Gachet, where Vincent spent his final months, as well as his grave tomb (just type “Tombe de Vincent Van-Gogh” into Google Maps), in Auvers-sur-Oise north-west of Paris. A visit to Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is also highly suggested to learn more about Vincent and his relationship to his brother Theo (make sure to buy your tickets online in advance), as well as a visit to Städel Museum Frankfurt (even though the Vincent Van Gogh exhibition is over).