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Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle (La berceuse)

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Vincent van Gogh
Dutch, 1853-1890

About this artwork

Vincent van Gogh saw in Augustine Roulin—along with her husband, Joseph, and their children—a model of love and family life. In this portrait, Roulin rocks a cradle by pulling on a rope. The title La Berceuse (the lullaby) suggests a consoling figure, and the artist described his palette as a soothing “lullaby in colors.”

Van Gogh painted five versions of this image. He completed this one in January 1889, soon after returning from his stay in the hospital following Paul Gauguin’s fraught departure. Madame Roulin sits in Gauguin’s chair, an attempt by Van Gogh to fill the space left by the older artist. In May 1889, Van Gogh gave this canvas to Gauguin as a gesture of recon- ciliation and friendship, instructing that it be hung between two paintings of sunflowers.


On View, Gallery 241


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Vincent van Gogh


Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle (La berceuse)


Arles (Object made in)




Oil on canvas


92.7 × 73.8 cm (36 1/2 × 29 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection

Reference Number


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