Portrait of Augustine Roulin, 'La Berceuse', 1889
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
From 1 May 2013 until 12 January 2014 this painting is on view in the exhibition Van Gogh at work.
In December 1888 Van Gogh painted a portrait of Madame Roulin. He called the work La Berceuse: ‘lullaby’ or ‘woman rocking an infant.’ Augustine Roulin, who holds the cord to her baby’s cradle, is also intended as an emblem of motherhood in general. The painter made four other versions of this work in early 1889. The subject had probably taken on a new meaning for him during his illness, evoking memories of his own mother and how she had once cared for him.