La berceuse (Portrait of Madame Roulin)

Vincent van GoghDecember 1888 - January 1889

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum
Amsterdam, Netherlands

This is a portrait of Madame Roulin, the wife of the postman in Arles, with whom Van Gogh was friends. She is holding a cord, with which she can rock a cradle that we cannot see. In this painting, Van Gogh wanted to summon up a lullaby and thereby evoke the idea of comfort. (See letter to Theo van Gogh, 28 January 1889). This is not so much the portrait of an individual as a symbolic depiction of Motherhood.


  • Title: La berceuse (Portrait of Madame Roulin)
  • Creator: Vincent van Gogh
  • Creator Lifespan: 30 March 1853 - 29 July 1890
  • Creator Nationality: Dutch
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Auvers-sur-Oise
  • Creator Birth Place: Zundert
  • Date Created: December 1888 - January 1889
  • Location Created: Arles, France
  • Place Part Of: France
  • Type: Portrait
  • Rights: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

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