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La Berceuse (Woman Rocking a Cradle; Augustine-Alix Pellicot Roulin, 1851–1930)

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise)

Date:
1889
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
36 1/2 x 29 in. (92.7 x 73.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1996, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
Accession Number:
1996.435
  • Gallery Label

    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.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and dated (on arm of chair): vincent / arles 89; inscribed (lower right): La / Berceuse

  • Provenance

    the sitter and her husband, Joseph Roulin, Arles, later Marseilles (1889–1900; gift from the artist; sold, presumably through Henri Laget, to Vollard); [Ambroise Vollard, Paris, in 1900]; Amédée Schuffenecker, Saint-Maur/Clamart (by 1905; until 1910); [Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, in 1910]; [Léon Marseille, Paris]; [Galerie Tanner, Zurich, until 1917; sold on December 29 for 35,000 Swiss francs to Staechelin]; Rudolf Staechelin, Basel (1917–32; transferred in 1932 to Staechelin Foundation); Rudolf Staechelin Foundation, Basel (1932–67; consigned in 1967 to Wildenstein, Paris and New York; sold through Wildenstein on October 4 to Annenberg); Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1967–96; jointly with MMA, 1996–his d. 2002)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Société des artistes indépendants. "Exposition rétrospective Vincent van Gogh," March 24–April 30, 1905, no. 39 (as "La Berceuse," lent by Amédée Schuffenecker).

    Paris. Galerie E. Druet. "Quelques oeuvres de Vincent van Gogh," January 6–18, 1908, no. 27 (lent by Amédé Schuffnecher [sic], possibly this work).

    London. Grafton Galleries. "Manet and the Post-Impressionists," November 8, 1910–January 15, 1911, no. 76 (lent by Bernheim Jeune & Cie).

    Kunsthalle Basel. "Vincent van Gogh," March 27–April 21, 1924, no. 38 (lent by a private collection, Basel).

    Kunsthalle Bern. "Französische Meister des 19. Jahrhunderts und van Gogh," February 18–April 2, 1934, no. 61 (as "Die Frau an der Wiege") [see Rishel 1991].

    Paris. Palais de Tokyo. "La Vie et l'œuvre de van Gogh," June–October 1937, no. 36 (lent by M. R. Staechelin, Basel).

    Basel. Galerie M. Schulthess. "25 Werke von Vincent van Gogh," June 23–August 19, 1945, no. 13 (as "La Berceuse [Mme Roulin]").

    Kunstmuseum Basel. "Sammlung Rudolf Staechelin: Gedächtnis-Ausstellung zum 10. Todesjahr des Sammlers," May 13–June 17, 1956, no. 38.

    Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "Fondation Rodolphe Staechelin, de Corot à Picasso," April 10–June 28, 1964, no. 32.

    London. Tate Gallery. "The Annenberg Collection," September 2–October 8, 1969, no. 19.

    Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat.

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," September 13, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 124.

  • References

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [January 30, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b622 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 575; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 744], states that "today I started work on a third Berceuse," referring to the present work.

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [on or about February 25, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b625 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 578 (as Feb. 22, 1889); Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 748], writes that Mme Roulin "had a good eye and took the best" version (this work) for herself.

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [February 3, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nos. b623 a-b V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 576; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 745], remarks that he let the sitter and her husband choose between the three versions of "La Berceuse" provided that he could do a repetition of the one they took (the present picture).

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [March 22, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b627 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 580; Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 751]

    , states that the canvases executed "in the intervals" between his attacks of illness (which included this work), "are calm and not inferior to others".

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [on or about June 18, 1889] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b643 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 595 (as June 19, 1889); Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 782], mentions the woman who posed for the Berceuse (Augustine Roulin).

    Joseph Roulin. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. May 22, 1889 [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b1071 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 775]

    , states that his daughter, Marcelle, sleeps "under the benevolent gaze of both the wife and the Father," referring to this picture and an unidentified canvas, respectively.

    Joseph Roulin. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. August 19, 1889 [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. no. b1072 V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 796]

    , assures Van Gogh "Do not fear that I will have anything done to your paintings for I respect the artist's talent too much".

    G.-Albert Aurier. "Les isolés: Vincent van Gogh." Mercure de France 1 (January 1890), p. 28 [reprinted in English transl. in Ronald Pickvance, "Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy and Auvers," New York, 1986, p. 314], calls it "cette gigantesque et géniale image d'Épinal, qu'il a répétée, avec de curieuses variantes, plusieurs fois'".

    Vincent van Gogh. Letter to his brother Theo. [on or about May 2, 1890] [Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. nos. b681 a-b V/1962; pub. in Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 632 (as May 1890); Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 866], mentions the model who posed for the Berceuse (Augustine Roulin).

    E. Bernard. "Vincent van Gogh." Les Hommes d'Aujourd'hui 8, no. 390 (1891), unpaginated, in connection with this subject mentions a legend of a spirit called "la berceuse" who appears to sailors on the sea to calm and comfort them; states that the artist intended the work for an inn in Marseilles or Saintes-Maries catering to sailors.

    C. J. Holmes. Notes on the Post-Impressionist Painters: Grafton Galleries, 1910–11. London, 1910, pp. 28–29, compares Van Gogh's "original" technique in this painting to woolwork; remarks on the "quaint colour".

    "The Latest Revolt in Art: The New French School at the Grafton Gallery." Sphere (November 5, 1910), ill. p. 130, as "The Nurse".

    Vincent van Gogh. Lettres de Vincent van Gogh à Émile Bernard. Paris, 1911, ill. hors texte (color).

    Théodore Duret. Van Gogh Vincent. Paris, 1916, p. 53.

    Gustave Coquiot. Vincent van Gogh. Paris, 1923, p. 289, ill. opp. p. 288.

    Florent Fels. Vincent van Gogh. Paris, 1928, pp. 206–7, ill.

    J.-B. de La Faille. L'Oeuvre de Vincent van Gogh: Catalogue Raisonné. Paris, 1928, vol. 1, pp. 144–45, no. 505; vol. 2, fig. 505.

    R. H. Wile[n]ski. French Painting. Boston, 1931, p. 297 n. 1.

    Van Gogh: Exposition internationale de 1937, Group I, Classe III. Exh. cat., Palais de Tokyo. Paris, 1937, p. 14, no. 36, ill.

    W. Scherjon and Jos. De Gruyter. Vincent van Gogh's Great Period: Arles, St. Rémy and Auvers sur Oise (complete catalogue). Amsterdam, 1937, Arles no. 149, ill. p. 171.

    Vincent van Gogh: Letters to Émile Bernard. London, 1938, p. 102 n. 7.

    J.-B. de La Faille. Vincent van Gogh. London, [1939], between pp. 432 and 433, pp. 567, 573, 587, colorpl. 14, as in the collection of R. Staechelin, Basel.

    R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, [1940], p. 214.

    Edward Alden Jewell. Vincent van Gogh. New York, 1946, p. 79, ill. p. 72 (color).

    Georg Schmidt. Van Gogh. Bern, 1947, p. 20, colorpl. 26.

    Maurice Raynal and Jean Leymarie. History of Modern Painting from Baudelaire to Bonnard: The Birth of a New Vision. Geneva, 1949, pp. 68–69, ill. (color).

    Werner Weisbach. Vincent van Gogh: Kunst und Schicksal. 2, Basel, [1951], p. 133, fig. 58, suggests that our composition was the first to be painted, noting that only in our painting does the model's right hand lie over her left, rather than the reverse.

    Paul Gachet. Vincent van Gogh aux "Indépendants". Paris, 1953, unpaginated.

    J.-N. Priou. "Van Gogh et la famille Roulin." Revue des PTT de France 10 (May–June 1955), p. 27, states that Marcelle Roulin, the daughter of the sitter, recalled that in 1895 Vollard bought the family's collection of paintings by Van Gogh, including the portrait of her mother [this work], for 450 francs.

    John Rewald. Post-Impressionism: From Van Gogh to Gauguin. 1st ed. New York, 1956, p. 240 n. 54, pp. 314–15 [3rd, rev. ed., 1978, p. 216 n. 57, pp. 292–93].

    August Kuhn-Foelix. Vincent van Gogh: Eine Psychographie. Bergen, Germany, 1958, p. 138, fig. 28.

    Vincent van Gogh. The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh with Reproductions of All the Drawings in the Correspondence. Greenwich, Conn., 1958, vol. 3, pp. 132–33, under letter nos. 575, 576, p. 137, under letter no. 578, p. 142, under letter no. 580, p. 182, under letter no. 595, p. 269, under letter no. 632, dates letter no. 578 to February 22, 1889, letter no. 595 to June 19, 1889, letter no. 632 to May 1890; but see changes and refinements in Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter nos. 748, 782, 866.

    Philippe Huisman. Van Gogh Portraits. English ed. [French ed. (1960)]. Lausanne, [1962], pp. 50, 52, colorpl. 20.

    John Rewald. Letter to A. M. Hammacher. April 29, 1962 [see Ref. La Faille 1970, p. 204], writes that he showed Ref. La Faille 1939 to the sitter's daughter at Arles, from which she picked out the works that had once belonged to her parents, and which were sold to Vollard around 1895, including this picture.

    M. Roy Fisher. The Annenberg Collection. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1969, unpaginated, no. 19, ill. (color), suggests that this picture is the original version because it is the one Mme Roulin chose for herself.

    J.-B. de La Faille. The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings. Amsterdam, 1970, pp. 204, 224–25, 631, no. 505, ill., calls this the version chosen by Mme Roulin; dates our painting and the version in the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (F504) to January 1889, and states that the other three versions probably followed in this order: (Art Institute of Chicago; F506), (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; F508), and (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; F507).

    Mark Roskill. Van Gogh, Gauguin, and the Impressionist Circle. Greenwich, Conn., 1970, p. 242.

    Mark Roskill. Van Gogh, Gauguin, and French Painting of the 1880s: A Catalogue Raisonné of Key Works. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1970, pp. 83–85, believes that our picture was the second or third version in the series and that it may have been done partially from life; calls it "almost certainly the version given to the Roulins".

    Van Gogh's "Diary": The Artist's Life in His Own Words and Art. New York, 1971, pp. 118–19, ill.

    Paolo Lecaldano. "Da Arles a Auvers." L'opera pittorica completa di Van Gogh e i suoi nessi grafici. 2, repr. [1st ed., 1966]. Milan, 1971–77, p. 218, no. 637, ill. p. 216, as "Ritratto di Augustine Roulin [La Ninnananna]".

    Hope Benedict Werness. "Essays on van Gogh's Symbolism." PhD diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1972, pp. 57–58 n. 8.

    François Daulte. "Une collection impressionniste à Regent's Park." L'Oeil (February 1974), p. 41, figs. 9 (installation photo), 11.

    Charles W. Millard. "A Chronology for Van Gogh's Drawings of 1888." Master Drawings 12 (Summer 1974), p. 162.

    Brian Petrie. Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings and Prints. London, 1974, unpaginated, no. 83, ill. (color).

    Aimée Brown Price. "Two Portraits by Vincent van Gogh and Two Portraits by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes." Burlington Magazine 117 (November 1975), p. 718.

    Arthur F. Valenstein and Anne Stiles Wylie. "A Discussion of the Paper by Marcel Heiman on 'Psychoanalytic Observations on the Last Painting and Suicide of Vincent van Gogh'." International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 57 (1976), pp. 82–83 n. 2.

    Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov Universiteit Utrecht. Vincent van Gogh: His Paris Period, 1886–1888. Utrecht, 1976, pp. 194–95, 207 n. 96.

    Paul Hefting. Vincent van Gogh: A Detailed Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings by Vincent van Gogh in the Collection of the Kröller-Müller National Museum. 4th rev. ed. Otterlo, 1980, pp. 92, 95–96 [1st Dutch ed., 1957; 1st English ed., 1959], identifies it as probably the second version of the painting.

    Jan Hulsker. The Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. [1st ed., Amsterdam, 1977]. New York, 1980, pp. 380, 386, 484 n. 8, no. 1669, ill. p. 385, calls F504 (Kröller-Müller) the original version.

    Griselda F. S. Pollock. "Vincent van Gogh and Dutch Art." PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art, 1980, vol. 1, pt. 3, pp. 489–91, 512 nn. 94, 96, pp. 519–21, 525, 564–66, 592–93, 613 n. 108; vol. 2, pt. 2, fig. 236.

    Evert van Uitert. "Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin in Competition: Vincent's Original Contribution." Simiolus 11, no. 2 (1980), p. 83 n. 12.

    Haruo Arikawa. "'La Berceuse': An Interpretation of Vincent van Gogh's Portraits." Annual Bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art no. 15 (1981), pp. 31–75, fig. 2, states that although F504 (Kröller-Müller) is often identified as the original version and F505 (MMA) as the second, the reverse is also possible; believes that F506 (Art Institute of Chicago) and F508 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) followed in either order, and that F507 (Stedelijk Museum) was the final version.

    Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov. Vincent van Gogh and the Birth of Cloisonism. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto, 1981, pp. 148–49, under no. 34B.

    Douglas Cooper. Paul Gauguin: 45 Lettres à Vincent, Théo et Jo van Gogh. The Hague, 1983, p. 269.

    Ronald Pickvance. Van Gogh in Arles. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, pp. 248, 265, states that either F504 (Kröller-Müller) or F505 (MMA) was the first version.

    Roland Scotti. Die "Internationale Kunst–Ausstellung" 1907 in Mannheim. Mannheim, 1985, pp. 37, 42, suggests that it may have been exhibited at the Internationale Kunst–Ausstellung at the Städtische Kunsthalle in Mannheim, Germany in 1907 as no. 1080, "Wiegenlied"; reproduces the first, provisional edition of the exhibition catalogue; notes that "Wiegenlied" was among seven Van Goghs removed from the exhibition after criticism in the press.

    Van Gogh: A Retrospective. New York, 1986, p. 192, ill.

    Jean-Louis Bonnat. "Les adresses d'un tableau: 'La Berceuse' (V. van Gogh)." Psychanalyse à l'université 12 (July 1987), pp. 374, 377, 395, 402–3.

    Jack Flam. "In a Different Light." Art News 88 (Summer 1989), pp. 113, 116, ill. (color).

    Roland Dorn Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität zu Mainz. Décoration: Vincent van Goghs Werkreihe für das Gelbe Haus in Arles. Hildesheim, 1990, pp. 155–56, 255 n. 104, p. 303 n. 455, p. 305 n. 462, pp. 414, 431, 462.

    Christian Geelhaar in Hans-Joachim Müller. NAFEA: Die Sammlung Rudolf Staechelin Basel / La collection Rudolf Staechelin Bâle. Basel, 1990, pp. 160, 163, states that on Dec. 27, 1917, Gustav Tanner offered this painting for Fr 35,000 to Staechelin on condition that the sale be concluded within eight days, and that on Dec. 29, 1917, Staechelin agreed via telephone to buy the painting, sight unseen; reproduces Staechelin's original list of acquisitions, which includes this work.

    Jan Hulsker. Vincent and Theo van Gogh: A Dual Biography. Trans. and rev. ed. [1st ed. Weesp, Holland, 1985]. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1990, pp. 341, 343.

    Evert van Uitert et al. Vincent van Gogh: Paintings. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Milan, 1990, pp. 20–21, 195–96, fig. 10, observe that F504 (Kröller-Müller) is generally assumed to be the first version because the portrayal of the flowers in the wallpaper is the most realistic.

    Jérôme Coignard. "Le Salon de peinture de Mr. et Mrs. Annenberg." Beaux arts no. 92 (July–August 1991), p. 72.

    Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. ix, 102–5, 196–98, ill. front cover, p. 103 (color, overall and detail) and p. 196, states that it is impossible to know for sure whether this work or F504 was the first version of the composition, but makes several points in favor of the MMA work.

    Gary Tinterow. "Miracle au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 472 (June 1991), p. 39.

    Jan Hulsker. "Van Gogh, Roulin and the Two Arlésiennes: Part I." Burlington Magazine 134 (September 1992), pp. 570–77, fig. 3 (color), places the five versions of the composition in the following chronological order: F508 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), F506 (Art Institute of Chicago), F505 (MMA), F507 (Stedelijk Museum), and F504 (Kröller-Müller).

    Judy Sund. True to Temperament: Van Gogh and French Naturalist Literature. Cambridge, 1992, pp. 217, 236.

    Henk Conradi in Dutch Art and Character: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Bosch, Bruegel, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Mondrian, Willink, Queen Wilhelmina. Amsterdam, 1993, pp. 100, 102–4.

    John House. "Van Gogh's 'La Berceuse'." Burlington Magazine 135 (July 1993), p. 485.

    Jan Hulsker. Vincent van Gogh: A Guide to His Work and Letters. Amsterdam, 1993, pp. 17, 23, 41, 54, 67–68, 70, 75, calls the picture in Boston (F508) the original painting.

    Fred Leeman in The Mythology of Vincent van Gogh. Tokyo, 1993, p. 61, compares it to Paula Modersohn-Becker's "Almswoman in the Garden" (1906; Ludwig Roselius Sammlung im Böttcherstrasse, Bremen) and suggests that she saw either our painting or the Boston version (F508) at the Salon des Indépendants in 1905.

    Nobuo Nakatani in The Mythology of Vincent van Gogh. Tokyo, 1993, p. 88, fig. 52 (color), compares it to Kimura Shohachi's "Woman with a Cat" (1912) and mentions that our painting was published in a special Van Gogh supplement to the periodical "Shirakaba" in November 1912.

    Kermit Swiler Champa. 'Masterpiece' Studies: Manet, Zola, Van Gogh, and Monet. University Park, Pa., 1994, pp. 92, 97–99, 104–18.

    Thomas Noll. "Der große Sämann": Zur Sinnbildlichkeit in der Kunst von Vincent van Gogh. Worms, 1994, pp. 124–25, 133, fig. 45.

    Matthias Arnold. Vincent van Gogh: Werk und Wirkung. Munich, 1995, pp. 164, 173–77, 186, 222, 224, 661, 747.

    Clifford Walter Edwards. "Van Gogh's Spiritual Quest: Toward a Theology of Vulnerability." Van Gogh 100. Westport, Conn., 1996, p. 259.

    Cornelia Homburg. The Copy Turns Original: Vincent van Gogh and a New Approach to Traditional Art Practice. Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 67–68, 76–77, 94, 119, notes that Van Gogh copied an engraving after Virginie Demont-Breton's "The Husband is at Sea" in October 1889 (private collection; F644) and suggests that its subject reminded him of "La Berceuse".

    Jan Hulsker. The New Complete Van Gogh: Paintings, Drawings, Sketches. rev. ed. Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 7, 386, 491, 496, no. 1669 [mislabeled on pp. 386 and 491 as no. 1670], ill. p. 385, proposes the same chronological order for the five versions of the composition as Ref. Hulsker 1992.

    Orlindo Gouveia Pereira. "The Role of Copying in Van Gogh's Oeuvre and Illness." Van Gogh 100. Westport, Conn., 1996, p. 165.

    Judy Sund. "Van Gogh's 'Berceuse' and the Sanctity of the Secular." Van Gogh 100. Westport, Conn., 1996, pp. 206, 209, 214–16, 218, 220–25.

    Hope B. Werness. "The Symbolism of Van Gogh's Flowers." Van Gogh 100. Westport, Conn., 1996, pp. 49–53.

    Janice Anderson. Van Gogh's Flowers and Landscapes. New York, 1997, p. 45, ill. (color).

    Susan Alyson Stein in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996–1997." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 55 (Fall 1997), p. 55, ill. (color).

    Carol Zemel. Van Gogh's Progress. Berkeley, 1997, pp. 17, 90, 118–21.

    Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Art News 97 (May 1998), ill. p. 147 (color, installation photo).

    Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov. Van Gogh in Provence and Auvers. [New York], 1999, p. 126.

    Roland Dorn in Van Gogh Face to Face: The Portraits. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2000, p. 252 n. 6.

    Ronald Pickvance. Van Gogh. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2000, pp. 29, 85, 277, 306.

    George T. M. Shackelford in Van Gogh Face to Face: The Portraits. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2000, p. 114, links this painting to van Gogh's "practice of self-repetition and variation" in 1888–89.

    Debora Silverman. Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Search for Sacred Art. New York, 2000, pp. 8, 313, 316, 319–20, 346–47, 353, 358–59, 426, 473 n. 21, fig. 131 (color).

    Elizabeth C. Childs in Cornelia Homburg. Vincent van Gogh and the Painters of the Petit Boulevard. Exh. cat., Saint Louis Art Museum. St. Louis, 2001, pp. 132, 150–51 n. 68.

    Douglas Druick and Peter Kort Zegers et al. Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. New York, 2001, pp. 272, 393 nn. 20, 26–27, fig. 19 (color), date it January 29, 1889 and call it the third version of the composition.

    Lynn DuBard in Cornelia Homburg. Vincent van Gogh and the Painters of the Petit Boulevard. Exh. cat., Saint Louis Art Museum. St. Louis, 2001, p. 224, dates it January–February 1889 and calls it one of the last three versions of the painting.

    Kristin Hoermann Lister. "Tracing a Transformation: Madame Roulin into 'La Berceuse'." Van Gogh Museum Journal (2001), pp. 71–73, 75–76 n. 27, pp. 77–80, fig. 6b (color), provides a close formal analysis of the painting in relationship to the other four versions of "La Berceuse" and discusses Van Gogh's working procedure; argues that this was the third of the five versions, painted between January 30 and February 3, 1889; suggests that the figure of Madame Roulin is based on a combination of elements from previous portraits of the Roulin family by Van Gogh and Gauguin.

    Kristin Hoermann Lister, and Cornelia Peres, and Inge Fiedler in Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Studio of the South. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. New York, 2001, p. 366.

    Debora Silverman. "Framing Art and Sacred Realism: Van Gogh's Ways of Seeing Arles." Van Gogh Museum Journal (2001), p. 60.

    Belinda Thomson. Van Gogh. Chicago, 2001, pp. 65, 70, fig. 23.

    Louis van Tilborgh and Ella Hendriks. "The Tokyo 'Sunflowers': A Genuine Repetition by Van Gogh or a Schuffenecker Forgery?" Van Gogh Museum Journal (2001), p. 22 n. 27, suggest that the "Sunflowers" and "La Berceuse" triptych was comprised of either this work or the Chicago version (F506), flanked by the flower paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (F455) and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (F458).

    Sjraar van Heugten in Van Gogh and Flowers. Exh. cat., Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 2003, pp. 28, 31.

    Shôko Kobayashi in Van Gogh and Flowers. Exh. cat., Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 2003, p. 141, fig. 3 (color).

    Teio Meedendorp and Robert Verhoogt in The Paintings of Vincent van Gogh in the Collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Otterlo, 2003, pp. 275–76 n. 4, ill. (color), discuss this painting in relation to the other four versions of the composition (F504, F506, F507, F508) and the meaning of the motif for Van Gogh.

    Viviane Rosé Universite de Toulouse-Le-Mirail. Temps, Affect, Sensation: de Cézanne à Matisse. 1, Lille, [2003], pp. 181–83.

    Cliff Edwards. The Shoes of Van Gogh: A Spiritual and Artistic Journey to the Ordinary. New York, 2004, pp. 81, 84–89.

    Martin Bailey in Van Gogh and Britain: Pioneer Collectors. Exh. cat., Compton Verney, Warwickshire. Edinburgh, 2006, p. 136 n. 17, states that either this painting or the Kröller-Müller version (F504) was no. 76 in the exhibition "Manet and the Post-Impressionists" [Exh. London 1910–11].

    Ann Dumas and Jonathan Pascoe Pratt in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, p. 379, no. 124, ill., state that this painting was begun by January 30, 1889 and finished by February 3, 1889; argue that the Roulins did not sell it directly to Vollard in 1894 or 1895, but instead sold it to him in 1900 via Henri Laget; state that Vollard probably sold it to Schuffenecker, although there is no record of the sale.

    Walter Feilchenfeldt. By Appointment Only: Cézanne, Van Gogh and Some Secrets of Art Dealing. English ed. London, 2006, p. 297, ill. p. 296 (color), as "La Berceuse (Augustine Roulin)"; states that the Roulin family sold it to Vollard in the summer of 1900 along with seven other works, via an agent in Arles named Laget.

    Martin Gayford. The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles. New York, 2006, pp. 270, 293, 295.

    Laurence Madeline. Van Gogh, Picasso. Paris, 2006, pp. 18, 130, 168 n. 27, p. 176 n. 23.

    Jonathan Pascoe Pratt in Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2006, pp. 51, 55, 59 n. 32, fig. 52 (color) [French ed., "De Cézanne à Picasso: Chefs-d'oeuvre de la galerie Vollard," Paris, 2007, pp. 61, 63, 68 n. 32], discusses it in the context of Van Gogh's triptychs.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 172, 257–58, no. 160, ill. (color and black and white).

    Jill Elyse Grossvogel. Claude-Emile Schuffenecker: Catalogue Raisonné, Supplement. Chicago, 2008, p. 43, confuses its provenance with the Chicago version (F506).

    Fred Leeman in Van Gogh: Heartfelt Lines. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Cologne, 2008, p. 92.

    Louis van Tilborgh. Van Gogh and the Sunflowers. Amsterdam, 2008, pp. 62–64, 81, fig. 50 (color), identifies it as the version intended as the central panel of a triptych with the Amsterdam version of "Sunflowers" (F458) on the left and the Philadelphia version (F455) on the right.

    Marije Vellekoop in Van Gogh: Heartfelt Lines. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Cologne, 2008, p. 55.

    Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 198–205, 212, 218, no. 38, ill. (color) and p. vi (installation photo), confirms that this picture was the third in the series, painted between January 30 and February 3, 1889, based on Refs. Hulsker 1992 and Lister 2001.

    Susan Alyson Stein in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, p. 235.

    Vincent van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh—The Letters. London, 2009, vol. 4, pp. 404–5, fig. 5 (color), under letter no. 744, p. 406, fig. 3 (color), under letter no. 745, p. 412, fig. 3 (color), under letter no. 748, p. 416, under letter no. 751, p. 419 n. 5, under letter no. 753; vol. 5, p. 20, fig. 1 (color), under letter no. 775, p. 37, under letter no. 782, pp. 68–69, fig. 3 (color), under letter no. 796, p. 148, under letter no. 822.

    Martin Bailey. "The Van Goghs at the Grafton Galleries." Burlington Magazine 152 (December 2010), p. 796, notes that Roger Fry and Desmond MacCarthy secured the loan of this painting from Bernheim-Jeune for Exh. London 1910–11.

    Robins. "'Manet and the Post-Impressionists': a checklist of exhibits." Burlington Magazine (2010), p. 788.



  • Notes

    The chronological order of the five versions of this composition is as follows:

    F508 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), F506 (Art Institute of Chicago), F505 (MMA), F507 (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam), and F504 (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo) [see Refs. Hulsker 1992 and Lister 2001].

    The following letters in the Van Gogh correspondence mention versions of the composition other than the MMA painting and/or the motif of "La Berceuse" in general: Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 739 [writes to Paul Gauguin that he has resumed work on his painting of Mme Roulin, describing the color scheme and subject]; Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 571a/Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 740 [describes a portrait called "la berceuse" which he has on his easel]; Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 573/Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 741 [writes that he is working on the portrait of Roulin's wife. which he had been working on before becoming ill]; Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 574/Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 743 [writes that he has the "Berceuse" he was working on before falling ill, as well as another version, and that he would like to make another repetition if he could get the model again; mentions writing to Gauguin about the painting and expands on the theme of the lullaby; describes the colors of the canvases and his vision of them flanked by sunflower paintings]; Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 582/Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 753 [states that he is "going back to my figure of the Berceuse for the 5th time"]; Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 592/Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 776 [mentions again his idea of "a decoration" composed of a "Berceuse" flanked by two paintings of sunflowers, and includes a sketch of the arrangement]; Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. 605/Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 801 [discusses the composition in terms of religious painting]; Van Gogh Letters 1958, letter no. B21/Van Gogh Letters 2009, letter no. 822 [writes that when Gauguin was in Arles he "once or twice allowed myself to be led into abstraction," including in this composition]

    This picture was photographed by Eugène Druet (pl. 74, no. 30/40–2467, ca. 1900–1910, collection Le fonds Druet-Vizzavona, Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Fort de Saint-Cyr, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France), probably during Exh. Paris 1905 or Exh. Paris 1908.

  • See also
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