La Berceuse: Madame Augustin Roulin

La Berceuse: Madame Augustin Roulin

"And here I am, going back to my figure of the Berceuse for the 5th time. And when you see it you’ll agree with me that it’s nothing but a chromolithograph from a penny bazaar, and what’s more, it doesn’t even have the merit of being photographically correct in the proportions or in anything. But anyway, I’m trying to make an image such as a sailor who couldn’t paint would imagine it when he was in the middle of the sea and thought of a woman on land." To Theo van Gogh. Arles, Friday, 29 March 1889
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Details:
Painting Date
28th of March 1889
Detailed Image Links
Description:
He had begun the portrait just in the days prior to his first debilitating episode in Arles in December of 1888.  When he recovers in January, he finishes the work he began and then paints four more in hopes of putting sunflowers on either side of two of them and presenting them as triptychs.  The related item was the first one he completed and this piece is the last one he completed.

“And here I am, going back to my figure of the Berceuse for the 5th time.  And when you see it you’ll agree with me that it’s nothing but a chromolithograph from a penny bazaar, and what’s more, it doesn’t even have the merit of being photographically correct in the proportions or in anything.  But anyway, I’m trying to make an image such as a sailor who couldn’t paint would imagine it when he was in the middle of the sea and thought of a woman on land.”

To Theo van Gogh. Arles, Friday, 29 March 1889

A quote on the color palette worked with in an earlier version of the same subject, the wife of his friend and advocate, the postman Roulin:
Today I made a fresh start on the canvas I had painted of Mrs Roulin, the one which had remained in a vague state as regards the hands because of my accident. As an arrangement of colours: the reds moving through to pure oranges, intensifying even more in the flesh tones up to the chromes, passing into the pinks and marrying with the olive and Veronese greens. As an Impressionist arrangement of colours, I’ve never devised anything better.

And I believe that if one placed this canvas just as it is in a boat, even one of Icelandic fishermen, there would be some who would feel the lullaby in it

To Paul Gauguin. Arles, Monday, 21 January 1889

 

Painting, Oil on Canvas – 92 x 73 cm Size 30 Figure
Arles: March 28, 1889
Kröller-Müller Museum
Otterlo, The Netherlands, Europe
F: 504, JH: 1655

Where Vincent Was:
Arles

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