Eugène Boch

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Eugène Boch
Van Gogh Portrait Eugene Boch.jpg
The Poet: Eugène Boch, portrait by Vincent van Gogh, 1888
Born(1855-09-01)1 September 1855
Saint-Vaast, La Louvière, Hainaut
Died3 January 1941(1941-01-03) (aged 85)
Known forPainting

Eugène Boch (1 September 1855 – 3 January 1941) was a Belgian painter, born in Saint-Vaast, La Louvière, Hainaut, and the younger brother of Anna Boch, a founding member of Les XX.


Born into the fifth generation of the Boch family, a wealthy dynasty of manufacturers of fine china and ceramics, still active today under the firm of Villeroy & Boch, Eugène Boch enrolled in the private atelier of Léon Bonnat in Paris, in 1879. From 1882, when Bonnat closed his atelier, he studied at the atelier of Fernand Cormon. Paintings of his were admitted to the Salon in 1882, 1883 and 1885.

In 1888, Boch was introduced by Dodge MacKnight to Vincent van Gogh. In 1892 he settled in Monthyon (Seine-and-Marne), not far from Paris. In 1909, he married Anne-Marie Léonie Crusfond (?–1933), and in 1910 they moved to their recently-built chalet "La Grimpette", where both lived until their death.

Boch supported artists of talent, but without money, including Émile Bernard, whom he met at the Atelier Cormon, and Paul Gauguin. Also he exchanged works, as with van Gogh. Thus little by little, an important collection of contemporary art came together. Besides his own portrait Boch owned a second van Gogh painting. Like his sister Anna, Boch spent a large part of the fortune from Victor Boch's business on promoting other artists. They bought pictures from many leading contemporaries of their time, the majority of whom were also their friends.

On Eugène Boch's death in 1941, he bequeathed The Poet – that is Van Gogh's title for his portrait of Eugène Boch, which Boch received from Johanna van Gogh-Bonger in accordance to the last will of Vincent and Theo – to the Louvre. Today the painting can be seen in the Paris Musée d'Orsay. Part of his collection was bought by his great-nephew Luitwin von Boch with the idea of making a Museum for Anna and Eugène Boch.

The Eugène Boch website is maintained from the Cremerie de Paris at the Hôtel de Villeroy. It is edited by his great nephew and Dr Thérèse Thomas.

In popular culture[edit]

The Van Gogh portrait of Eugene Boch is shown on the homepage of the French Whitepages as a symbol of French culture next to the Mont Saint Michel, bottles of Perrier water and the tiara of Empress Eugénie.[1]


  • Berko, Patrick & Viviane (1981), Dictionary of Belgian painters born between 1750 & 1875, Knokke 1981, p. 51.
  • Boch, Anna; Eugène Boch (1994). Hommage à Anna et Eugène Boch. Musée de Pontoise. LCCN 95179953. OCLC 31175453.
  • Faider-Thomas, Thérèse (1971). Anna Boch und Eugène Boch: Werke aus den Anfängen der modernen Kunst. Mettlach, Villeroy & Boch. OCLC 420158. (Catalog of an exhibition held at the Moderne Galerie, Saarland Museum, Saarbrücken, 6 May – June 6, 1971)

External links[edit]