Impressionist Painter and
friend of
Vincent van Gogh

Eugene Boch (1855 - 1941)
Monthyon - Paris
Eugene Boch was a Belgian painter, born in Saint-Vaast, Hainaut
in the 5th generation of the Boch family
that makes Ceramics since 1748.

His father Victor Boch operated
the company Boch Frères
and his uncle Eugen von Boch
the company Villeroy & Boch

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Eugene Boch in 1888


Discover the history of Eugene Boch

Cremerie de Paris

Pokemon Pop Up Store at Cremerie de Paris Cremerie de Paris /
Hotel de Villeroy
home of the Cremerie de Paris / Hotel de Villeroy is also the home of the Phonebook of the

Eugene's School

Atelier Cormon Discover Eugene's School, Atelier Cormand.

Eugene's House

Villa La Grimpette Discover Eugene's House, Villa La Grimpette.

Summer 1888 in Arles
Vincent van Gogh painted by Vincent van Gogh
the bedroom
Eugen Boch by Vincent van Gogh
Paul Eugene Milliet by Vincent van Gogh
The Yellow House

1888 May, Vincent van Gogh rented four rooms in a small building
on 2 place Lamartine in Arles,
called "The Yellow House".
He intended to establish an artish colony, the studio of the South.

The portrait "The Poet" (Eugene Boch) was done in September 1888 in the Yellow House in Arles,
at the same time as Van Gogh did the portrait "The Lover" (Paul Eugene Milliet)
and his self portrait dedicated to Paul Gaugin
shortly before Gaugin arrived in Arles 21 October 1888.

a letter from Vincent van Gogh to Eugene Boch send from Arles 4 October 1888

Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Eugene Boch
more about this letter

Unlike Gaugins visit,
the time Eugene spent in Arles was a beautiful one.
It was also the period where Van Gogh painted
the different starry colours in the night paintings.

more about the letter from the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Exchange of Paintings
The Alpines by Vincent van Gogh
possible photo Vincent van Gogh
Mine of Crachet and Percy
Eugene Boch, drawing by Anna Boch
"The Alpilles"
by Vincent van Gogh
to Eugene Boch
Vincent van Gogh
in Arles
photo owned by
Eugene Boch
"Mine of Crachet & Pecry"
by Eugene Boch
given to
Vincent van Gogh
Eugene Boch
by Anna Boch

Vincent van Gogh incited Eugene Boch to exchange some artwork.
The exchange of Eugene´s Painting "The mine of Crachet and Pecry"
given to Vincent van Gogh
and Vincent van Gogh´s "The Alpilles" given to Eugene Boch
has been documented
by Theo van Gogh
letters about the exchange of paintings

The Alpilles painting, today in the New York Guggenheim Museum

1888 The Eugene Boch Portrait "The Poet"

Eugene Boch
Van Gogh met the Belgian painter Eugène Boch in mid-June 1888,
while Boch was spending a few weeks near Arles.
Around 8 July, Vincent mentioned Boch in a letter to his brother Théo:
"I very much like the looks of this young man with his distinctive face,
like a razor blade, and his green eyes".

Behind his head, instead of painting the ordinary wall of this shabby appartment,
I will paint infinity,
I will do a simple background of the richest blue,
the most intense blue that I can create,
and through this simple combination of the bright head against this rich,
blue background,
I will obtain a mysterious effect,
like a star in the depths of an azure sky".

Eugene Boch in the Bedroom Painting
1888 September 18 the Eugene Boch portrait called "The Poet" was done.
Van Gogh kept the painting above his bed, next to the portrait of
Paul Eugene Milliet called "The Lover"
as one can see in the Bedroom Painting

Concerning this portrait "The Poet" or "Le peintre aux Etoiles"
Eugene Boch had some nostalgic feelings about the painting
... which,
some time after Vincent van Gogh´s death
... came to the ears of
Johanna van Gogh Bogner

the sister in Law of Vincent van Gogh (died 29 july 1890)
and also the widow of Theo van Gogh (died 25 january 1891) .

23 July 1891
she wrote to Eugene Boch:
"I have heared that you would like to have the portrait,
which Vincent has painted about you in Arles in 1888.
It would be a pleasure for me to give it to you as a souvenir
of the two brothers,
as I know about the affection you had for them"

When Eugene died in his house Villa La Grimpette in Monthyon 3 Jan 1941
his sister Elisa Blondel, born Boch was there ...
she noted in her diary:
"It was during the rough winter 1940-41.
After Dec 26 1940 my brother had to stay in bed.
The phonelines were cut, there was too much snow on the roads to go anywhere.
There was no possibility to leave the house, or to call a doctor.
When Eugene couldn´t moove or talk any more,
his views were fixed on the portrait Van Gogh had painted of him.
He looked at it with admiration,
as if would have liked to say: "How beautiful it is
and how much I would have liked to be able to paint it
.... in other (todays) words
as if they had been in Love.

The portrait was situated
in the following Locations:

1888 Bedroom of Vincent van Gogh, Yellow House,
Arles, France
1890 collection Theo van Gogh
1891 collection Johanna von Gogh Bonger
1891 La Louvière Belgium
1892 - 1906 Garden House of Eugene Boch
in Monthyon, France
1910 - 1941 Bedroom of Eugene Boch, Villa La Grimpette, Monthyon, France

In his will Eugene Boch gave the Portrait to
the Societe des Amis du Louvre.
1942-1943 painting hidden by the Musee du Louvre
1944-1947 shown in the Musee du Louvre, Paris
1947-1986 Galerie du Jeu de Paume, Paris
since 1986 Musée d´Orsay

more details on the locations of the Portrait

Phonebook of
The Portrait is also on the Cover
of the Phonebook of Paris
Not sure if Vincent van Gogh or Eugene Boch
would have like it´s reproduction
on uncountable T-Shirs, Umbrellas, Souvenirs ...
Phonebook of
It was shown in 22 Expositions

Eugene Boch´s paintings

De Rode Daachen 1888La Houliere 1891Mine of Crachet and Pecry
Paintings from the Borinage

Paintings from Algeria


Houses from Belgium

South of France


Friend´s of Eugene Boch

Eugene met many of his painter friends
at the Atelier Corman

Dodge Mac Knight
The American Artist Dodge Mac Knight
introduced Eugene to Vincent van Gogh in the summer of 1888

Atelier CormonEmile Bernard painted by Henri Toulouse LautrecEmile Bernard self portraitPhoto of Emile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh
Emile Bernard was another common friend of Eugene Boch and Vincent van Gogh.

Eugene had met Emile in the Atelier Cormon Painting class in Paris
and in early years he sponsored his work so that he ended up
owning many paintings, his sister Anna Boch one.

Emile Bernard received many letters from Van Gogh
and after his death of van Gogh, Emile Bernard contributed a lot to make Vincent famous
by organising the first expositions of his paintings.
The common friendship to Vincent van Gogh
was a link for Eugene Boch and Emile and they stayed in contact all their life.
Emile Bernard stayed many times in Eugene Boch´s house,
La Villa La Grimpette.

Paul Gauguin, Self Portrait
Paul Gauguin and Eugene Boch, coming soon

Henri Toulouse Lautre, Self PortraitHenri Toulouse Lautre, Self Portrait
Henri Toulouse Lautrec and Eugene Boch, coming soon

Paul Cezanne photo by Emile BernardStillifeCardpalyers
Paul Cezanne and Eugene Boch, coming soon

Eugene Boch´s family background

first pottery in Audun le Tige
Pierre Joseph Boch
Pierre Joseph Boch
Eugen von Boch
Victor Boch & Eugene Boch
Francois Boch
metal molder, ceramist
great great grandfather
founded the Boch Ceramics company in 1748
Pierre Joseph Boch,
(1737 - 1818)
ceramics industrialist
great grandfather
2nd generation
Jean Francois Boch
(1782 - 1858)
ceramics industrialist
3rd generation
Eugen von Boch
(1809 - 1898)
ceramics industrialist
4th generation
Victor Boch (and Eugene)
(1817 - 1920)
ceramics industrialist
4th generation

In the 10 generations of the Boch family,
there have always been,
... some Business People
... and some Artists.

Old Luxembourg
(Vieux Luxembourg)
a design in production
since 1768

The different Ceramis companies started in 1748
as Jean François Boch & Frères
in Audun le Tige (France, province of Lorraine near Luxemburg and the Saar)

Octave Maus
Anna Boch
Eugene Boch
Old Luxembourg
(Vieux Luxembourg)
a design in production
since 1768
Octave Maus
(1856 - 1919)
musician, lawyer
2nd cousin
5th generation
Anna Boch
(1848 - 1936)
5th generation
Eugene Boch
(1855 - 1941)

5th generation

Back in the old times the family´s artistic potential has been used
for the benefit of the company.

Destiny of Eugene and Anna´s Art Collection

Anna and Eugene Boch
Eugene and Anna Boch were unconventional and non conformist
which annoyed some cousins of their age
around the company seat in Mettlach, Germany.
After the death of their uncle Eugen von Boch
contact ceased.

Due to Eugene and Anna´s friendship with many artists,
and their desire to sponsor artists with no money,
they built up two of the most important collections of Impressionist Art of their times.

When they passed away 1936 and 1941
both collections
the Eugene Boch collection
and the Anna Boch collection
were dissolved.

Eugene Boch lies at the Cimetière de Monthyon.
His house was for sale when the website came alife.
It needed some refrechment, but it was quite unchanged.
Only one family had lived there in the meantime.

The city of Monthyon and it's mayor Bernard Lefranc decided to buy it
so this cultural heritage will be preserved ...

The Alpilles exhanged between Van Gogh and Eugene Boch
The Alpilles
given in 1890
by Vincent van Gogh
to Eugene Boch
in exchange
of a painting by Eugene
Landscape with snow
Landscape with snow
given in 1888
by Vincent
as present
to Eugene Boch
Landscape with snow
Portrait Eugene Boch
given in 1891
by Johanna van Gogh
as present
to Eugene Boch.
Legs to the Louvre
The Red Vineyard
The Red Vineyard
only painting
Van Gogh sold
in his life
for 400 Francs
to Anna Boch (1890)
Beach Blossoms
Beach Blossoms in the Craux
by Anna Boch
in 1891
for 350 Francs
at Galerie Bernheim

maybe more ??

25 years and 2 generations later, in the 1960s
Luitwin von Boch took the initiative to save what was left from their cultural heritage.

Villeroy & Boch Headquarter and Museum of Ceramics
Luitwin von Boch
Alte Abtei Mettlach
Luitwin & Beatrice von Boch
Old Abbey
home of the future
Anna & Eugene Boch
Luitwin von Boch,
(1906 - 1988)
great nephew
7th generation
Gate of the Alte Abtei,
seat of Villeroy & Boch
and home of the future
Anna & Eugene Boch Expo
Luitwin & Beatrice von Boch
and Milicent zu Solms
Luitwin & Beatrice von Boch
and children
8th generation

Luitwin von Boch, 7th generation, was very charismatic.
When he became CEO of Villeroy & Boch he was only 25
the company was struggeling ...
Over the years,
during his 40 year long presidency,
he multiplied the company´s value
over and over again,
by more than a 100 times !

Villeroy & Boch Logo
Logo designed around 1950 for Luitwin von Boch

He saw the importance to maintain
the almost forgotten
cultural heritage
of his uncle Eugene and his aunt Anna ...
He hired Dr Thérèse Thomas, a young historian,
to research information.

In the late 1960´s he was able to buy some of Eugene´s
and many of Anna´s paintings
... with the idea
to make a Museum in Mettlach, Germany.

Due to a complicated "viager" contract most of the paintings only arrived in 1992,
4 years after his death in 1988,
so Luitwin von Boch did not have the time to realize the Museum ....

A  permanent expo opened in April 2011.

Apparently Eugene Boch´s collection included several Van Gogh paintings,
more than what is actually known to the public:
He received one painting when exchanging artworks between "painter friends",
other paintings might have been given to him by Vincent as presents.
Presents by affection or presence by gratitude ...

In the older generations of the Boch family it was a tradition
to support friends in financial needs,
without ever talking about it.
It would surprise the editor of this website
if "uncle" Eugene had not been a discrète financial support
for Vincent in between
the summer 1888 until the end of his life.

Johanna van Gogh Bogner

Johanna van Gogh Bogner
Johanna van Gogh Bogner,
widow of Vincent van Gogh´s brother Theo
and in later years friend of Eugene Boch

As already mentioned Eugene Boch received his portrait done by Vincent van Gogh
as a present from Johanna van Gogh Bogner.
what happened to the other paintings
owned by Johanna van Gogh ?

Villa La Grimpette
The Art Collection was located in Eugene´s house,
La Villa La Grimpette in Monthyon, France
Many information on the destiny of Eugene Boch´s amazing collection is missing ....
In 1914 his house La Villa La Grimpette was used
as a Seat for the Etat Major of the French Army fighting against the Germans
... which might not have helped the paintings.

what happened
to the Villa La Grimpette ?

What happened to the paintings ?

Eugene Boch
Eugene´s favorite painting however got to it´s destination,
as had wanted it.
In his own will he passed on the present he got
from Vincent & Johanna van Gogh
to the van Gogh Lovers of the World
by giving it to the Louvre.

As he was very discrete,
very shy,
too shy to promote himself.
Not many people might think about him any more today ...
Just like van Gogh,
he never received much recognition in his lifetime ....

During his long life it was his joy
to notice his friend Vincent becoming
more and more famous,
world famous.

By giving the portrait to the Louvre,
that had already died back in 1890,
51 years before Eugene,
and that had expressed the desire to paint Eugene as beautiful as he could,

like a star in the depths of an azure sky
made him become famous
on his turn
... after his own death

now , 70 years later, this little website might contribute a little ...

2010 website

Cybercafe de Paris
Registration of the Internet domain

Due to the barriers of time the editor of this website
never had the chance to meet his great uncle Eugene Boch in person.
Eugene and his siter Anna had died decades before he was born.

But he has had the chance to know them through stories of his grandfather
and for his grandfather Eugene Boch was very present.
These stories were part of his childhood in Mettlach,
seat of the Villeroy & Boch Ceramics company.

At age 17 he decided to go to Paris.
1987 just out of colledge he started his own company
not in Ceramics
but in a technology oriented environement,
a Boutique for Sony Telephones.
which later became the Cybercafe de Paris,
the first webcafe in France.

1995 very few people in Paris knew about Internet,
the only clients were Americans, desperately looking for a web connection.
They wanted to do someting "really bizarre" called "email" ...
It was the dawn of the Internet.

The Cybercafe (today Cremerie de Paris) was a place where one could meet
all kinds of avant garde technology pioneers
Most of the time he did not even realize who they were
or who they were going to become.
Some were also a little older ... one had walked on the Moon
another one had - as a young woman - been a friend of the inventor of the telephone.

With the inspiration of these fascinating Cybercafe Visitors
he registered a multitude of iconic internet domain names.
Memories from back home were also a source of inspiration:
This is how Eugene and Anna
were granted ...
Of course he tried to have the environment he had grown up
benefit from his "non professional" expertise,
not really possible to learn in a colledge.

For generations his family, in particular his grandfather
had been fascinated by innovation
but strangely enough
once his grandfather had passed away
whatever idea
there response was always the same:

No ...
"kein Geld für solch einen Unsinn - no money for such Nonsense".

Eugene Boch

Launch of the Eugene website

The energy to launch this website came a little by mistake.

2009 he decided to return to Germany
to take a little care of his grandmother who was sick and lonely.
Trying to cheer her up,
she was integrated to many business conversations.
She did not always understand everything,
but she liked to listen and she had good advise.

Phone Book of the

During 2 years the websites once invented at the Cybercafe
were partly developped from her house comuting between Mettlach and Paris
thanks to the recently opened hi speed TGV train connection.
It was a unique and cool time beeing at the same time
an "assistant doctor",
a "debutante historian"
and the editor of a global telecommunications interface
with a large international audience:
Phonebook of the World ...

the editor of this website and Beatrice von Boch
2010, August 4 he had done a mistake.
To remain active Domain names need to be renewed.
The editor had forgotten the deadline to pay the renewal charges
which are a little less than 10 $ for a one year period.
Upset at lunch his grandmother wanted to know what has happened ??
There was a possibility to still renew the name but instead of 10 $
a redemption charge of 250 $ !!! needed to be paid.

Beatrice von Boch: "This is too bad, but smetimes mistakes happen.
I really think you you need to pay this redemption fee.
There is too much history behind your uncle's name ...
I will participate in the payment so you are not alone
but you should do it right away
and then you should soon turn the domain into an active website ... "
Walburga Bamberger who has helped to run the house for almost 50 years
also participated in paying the charge ...

Anna Eugene
Right after lunch while having cafe at the "salon"
the laptop was reconnected and
"ouups" the redemtion charge was paid.
30 minutes later the domain name had been restored.

The same evening a very simple first version of Eugene was up and running,
the same for Anna;
luckily Anna's domain name was stilll in renewed status.

Beatrice von BochWalburga BambergerDonata ReisigAdeline Reimer
Every evening Beatrice von Boch,
and her friends Walburga Bamberger, Donata Reisig, Adeline Reimer,
Schwester Anne and Schwester Monika
were having a look at the pages created during the day ...
It was a little joy and a change in the daily routine of an old Lady
that had come to the end of her life.

Dr Therese ThomasVilla Ziegelberg
From Belgium helped the historian Dr Thèrese Thomas,
Dr Thomas had been the curator and to co-creator of the Villeroy & Boch Museum
initially loaced at Villa Ziegelberg,
the former house of Edmond von Boch, a cousin of Eugene Boch.
The editor of the website had known her
when whe was still a child.
She had trained him to become a museum tour guide
for his grandfathers business connections.

2011, March 13, Beatrice von Boch passed away.
This was the End of an Era ...
2011, July 12, 8pm was decided to close her house.
It was the signal the time had come to leave ...

In the old times Eugene von Boch had created a Mahlschule (design colledge)
to encourage all the talents around him.
This is how many of the very beautiful cremamics pattern came alive.

Eugene and Anna Boch also took classes in the "Mahlschule".
But today all the Villeroy & Boch company knows is to pay dividends
to those that have inherited shares.

Beatrice von Boch still had keep the tradition to encourage creativity.

Returning to Paris,
a city that loves and embraces creativity ...
a city where many times the answer is
Yes ...

It seams that - over a hundred years ago -
Eugene Boch had done the same ...

2012 (two years later)
Cremerie de Paris at the Hotel de Villeroy

While editing the Anna and Eugene websites
the editor noticed something fascinating.
Studying history which was not coming from books
but history he has been part of.

For several years the site has never been touched again ...
2015, five years later the site keeps receiving letters from
van Gogh experts requiring information.
2015 May, the site is updated,

Cremerie de
The joy to find so many interesting information
was of unexpected impact
for reinventing the former Cybercafe ...
and re-opening it as the Cremerie de Paris.

Who knows if uncle Eugène & Vincent van Gogh
havn't helped a bit with the start of a new project .... ?

Back in Paris he realizes that the heart of the city is also full of history.
The building where the Cremerie de Paris is located has lived lots of it ...
It's only that nobody knew it ...

He remembered converstions with a old friend .
She loved walk around the Paris at night,
she always wanted to take him along.
3 decades earlier, In the 1960s
the company for her night walks was someone else,
a fashion designer called Coco Chanel.

Without realising it at the time
these uncountable night walks,
just like the times he had spend with his grandfather
had been increadible "history lessons".

What many young people don't understand is
having friends from different generations can be extremely interesting ...

According to Chanel
the Cremerie de Paris has had a amazing past ...
All kinds of people had been there through a long period of time.
Maybe he had to reseach a little into these stories
as he had done with Anna and Eugene Boch the year before ....

Hôtel de Villeroy in Paris

Nicolas IV de VilleroyNicolas V de Villeroy, educateor of King Louis XIV, former owner of the Hotel de Villeroy where is located the Cremerie de Paris
And as if it was destiny
he found out that the building had, centuries ago,
during the times of the Kings of France,
belonged to a family called Villeroy.
That was a name he already knew ...

Today all this history, a little crazy and funny
has a mysterious attraction
on some ot the world's Very Beautiful brands
They come to set up Expos and Pop Up Stores.

view from van Gogh's room on rue Lepic
Almost every week he finds out new things about the history of the building.
One of the questions which remains unanswered:
have uncle Eugene and Vincent van Gogh ever been to the Cremerie de Paris
during the times the Cremerie was a traditional Cremerie,
a fine cheese store at the Halles Centrales (1870-1970)

From his room on 54 rue Lepic 75018 Paris
(near butte de Montmartre)
Vincent van Gogh could see the rooths of rue des Halles
where the Cremerie de Paris is located.
In his above painting one can recognize Notre Dame, 800 meters walking distance.
The distance between 54 rue Lepic and uncle Eugène's flat on rue Ganneron
was about the same.

Grand Hotels of the
According to Coco Chanel, Vincent van Gogh has been there.
Chanel knew the Cremerie very well, she loved the staircase represented
in our Grand Hotels of the World logo.
It is impossible though that she hat met van Gogh in person.
1887, when van Gogh lived in Paris, she was only 4 years old.
Someone must have told her ...

van Gogh biography the Life translated by Isabelle Taudiere
From time to time we get an email
from history lovers or van Gogh experts.
Maybe one day someone will have the answer ... ??

Museums which expose Eugene Boch Paintings
or Paintings from the Eugene Boch Collection

Musee Orsay
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Keramik Museum Mettlach
Musee Royal de Mariemont
Van Gogh Huis