Vincent van Gogh painted Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle (La Berceuse) in 1889, shortly after he found a nearly finished portrait of the postman's wife in his studio. Seated in the armchair, holding a rope that was attached to her infant's cradle, Vincent van Gogh regarded Madame Roulin Rocking the Cradle (La Berceuse) as soothing, a "lullaby in colors."
In the form of the caring mother, Vincent saw the embodiment of consolation, and he imagined La Berceuse (The Lullaby) presented as a triptych with a sunflower still life on either side.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debra N. Mancoff, Ph.D., is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American painting, including Publication International, Ltd.'s, Monet and Impressionism. Other titles include Sunflowers, Monet's Garden in Art, Van Gogh: Fields and Flowers, and Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives. Ms. Mancoff is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.