Art is a powerful tool of story-telling and Vincent Van Gogh had some stories to share. This brilliant artist had the most tragic destiny. No one appreciated his work; he spent some time in the asylum, because of the severe depression. But Van Gogh managed to find a close friend, who stayed with him till the death. This person was Van Gogh’s doctor – Paul Gachet.
Vincent felt that Gachet was just like him. He even wrote a letter to his brother Theo and described his doctor was sick (Aronson and Ramachandran). Van Gogh was right – Gachet himself was struggling with a melancholy. The artist wasn’t sure it was the right person to treat him, but he trusted the doctor. That is how their beautiful friendship started.
The portrait of Dr. Gachet represents this person’s melancholy. He had a heart-breaking expression of sadness. The artist used oppressive colors that emphasized doctor’s fight with the disease ("Dr. Gachet (Man with a Pipe)"). Gachet resembles Van Gogh a lot. The artist associated himself with Gachet in their melancholy state, so he added his personal traits to the painting.
Each time any person looks at this painting, they could feel the story behind it. Van Gogh showed doctor’s fight with depression. This person became another brother for Vincent, who missed Theo. Van Gogh showed the whole generation of people, who couldn’t stand the life around them in this painting. Doctor’s facial expression shows he was suffering a lot.
Vincent Van Gogh is one of the greatest artists of all time. He had a special talent to transform a feeling into the brushes of paint. Vincent saw the world in a different way. His painting shows a man’s weakness, his inability to confront the depression and melancholy. Impressionism is a powerful visualization tool for showing the person’s emotions. This particular painting showed the power of emotional aid and that sometimes moral support is more important than a medical treatment.
Aronson, Jeffrey K., and Manoj Ramachandran. "The Diagnosis of Art: Melancholy and the Portrait of Dr Gachet." PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2015.
"Dr. Gachet (Man with a Pipe)." LitMed: Literature Arts Medicine Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2015.