While living in Arles, van Gogh became close friends with his neighbors, the Roulin family. He painted Madame Augustine Roulin on several occasions and made five repetitions of La Berceuse, an example of which can be seen above.
The title La Berceuse can translate as: lullaby, woman who rocks a cradle, or cradle that rocks. All of the La Berceuse paintings show Madame Roulin holding the rope that she used to rock her baby’s cradle.
Van Gogh intended La Berceuse to be part of a triptych, an art work composed of three parts. He planned to hang it in between two of his paintings of sunflowers.
Imagine that you were creating your own triptych with La Berceuse at the center. What would you hang on either side? Graduate Intern Caitlin Brague made the example below to help inspire you. Proud of your work? Share your drawing on Instagram, tagging @phillipscollection.