Madame Roulin and Her Baby

Vincent van Gogh Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 955

This vigorously painted portrait of Augustine Roulin and her infant daughter, Marcelle, is one of Van Gogh’s many evocative renderings of the Roulin family, undertaken some six months after the artist relocated from Paris to Arles. Van Gogh painted the entire family of the local postman Joseph Roulin. Here, the chubbycheeked infant is the focus of the enterprise. Her heightened expression in thickly painted brushwork suggests that the baby may have posed for van Gogh, swaddled in her mother’s embrace. Augustine Roulin, by contrast, is an abbreviated presence.

Madame Roulin and Her Baby, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-sur-Oise), Oil on canvas

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