Eugène Boch

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

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 was 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. In 1879 he enrolled in the private atelier of Léon Bonnat in Paris. In 1882, when Bonnat closed his atelier, Boch continued his studies at the atelier of Fernand Cormon. The Salon admitted some of his work 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 out their lives.

Boch supported poor artists of talent, including Émile Bernard, whom he met at the Atelier Cormon, and Paul Gauguin. He also exchanged works with many artists, including by van Gogh, and little by little, grew an important collection of contemporary art. Boch and his sister Anna spent a large part of the family fortune promoting other artists. They bought pictures from many leading contemporaries of their time, the majority of whom were also their friends.

Boch received van Gogh's portrait of him, The Poet, from Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, van Gogh's sister in law. On Boch's death in 1941, he bequeathed the painting to the Louvre. Today the painting can be seen in the Paris Musée d'Orsay.

After his death, Boch's great-nephew Luitwin von Boch purchased part of Boch's collection with the intention of creating a museum for the work of Boch and his sister Anna.

In popular cultureEdit

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 linksEdit