Vincent van Gogh, Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La Berceuse), 1889. Oil on canvas, 36 1/2 x 28 5/8 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bequest of John T. Spaulding
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.
A triptych inspired by La Berceuse by Caitlin Brague.
Which work in the Van Gogh Repetitions exhibition did the artist complete in less than an hour? Which did he paint on a piece of patterned clothing material? Chief Curator Eliza Rathbone has the answers. Follow her through a brief introduction to the exhibition in this video.
This fall, members of The Phillips Collection staff participated in the Capitol Bocce (glow in the dark) league. Our team, Vincent van Glow (which takes its inspiration from our Van Gogh Repetitions exhibition), shined for nearly 9 weeks—even making it to the final 4!
Though we took home a Halloween victory—winning best team costume with our special Postman-inspired van Glow beards—in the end we met our match to the reigning champions The Team Formerly Known As Bocce.
Regardless of the outcome, we all had a lot of fun and have talked about doing it again. Who knows…maybe this could be the start of a DC art museum sports league? Paintball, anyone?
Photo by Jane Kestner
Vincent van Glow means business, we have the beards to prove it.