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

Artist: 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

Description

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.

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