La Berceuse (Woman Rocking a Cradle; Augustine-Alix Pellicot Roulin, 1851–1930)
Oil on canvas
73.7 x 92.7 cm
Not For Sale
Of the five versions of Van Gogh’s portrait of Augustine Roulin, wife of his friend the postmaster of Arles, the present canvas is the one the sitter chose for herself. Van Gogh remarked that "she had a good eye and took the best." He began the portraits just before his breakdown in Arles, in December 1888, and completed them in early 1889, calling them "La Berceuse," meaning "lullaby, or woman who rocks the cradle," indicated by the rope held in the sitter’s hand, which is attached to the unseen cradle.
Exhibitions with this piece
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Vincent Wilien van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-impressionist painter. His work had a great influence on modern art because of its striking colours and emotional power. He suffered from delusions and fits of mental illness. When he was 37, he died by committing suicide. When he was a young man, Van Gogh worked for a company of art dealers. He traveled between The Hague, London and Paris. After that, he taught in England. He then wanted to become a pastor and spread the Gospel, and from 1879 he worked as a missionary in a mining place in Belgium. He began drawing the people there, and in 1885, he painted his first important work, The Potato Eaters. He usually painted in dark colors at this time. In March 1886, he moved to Paris and found out about the French impressionists. Later, he moved to the south of France, and the colors in his art became brighter. His special style of art was developed and later fully grown during the time he stayed in Arles in 1888. Artworks in this exhibition are part of the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.