Roulin, Augustine

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Roulin, Augustine Gender: F
Augustine-Alex Pellicot
born on 9 October 1851 at 05:00 (= 05:00 AM )
Place Lambesc, France, 43n39, 5e16
Timezone LMT m5e16 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 15°18' s_mo.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 03°26 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 01°42'

Augustine Roulin ("The Mother or Portrait of Madame Augustine Roulin," 1888 painting by Vincent Van Gogh)


French postman's wife who, along with her family, was painted in Arles by Vincent Van Gogh in 1888. The family included Augustine Roulin; her husband Joseph; and their three children. Van Gogh described the family as "really French, even if they look like Russians." In exchange for their work as models, Van Gogh gave the Roulins one painting for each family member.

Joseph and Augustine married on 31 August 1868. Augustine, 37 years of age at the time of these paintings, was ten years younger than her husband. Theirs was a working class household.

After her husband had posed for several works with van Gogh, Augustine sat for Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin in the Yellow House the two men shared. During the sitting, she kept her gaze on Gauguin, possibly for reassurance because, according to her daughter, she was not comfortable in the presence of Van Gogh. She sat in the corner of the room for the evening sitting. The resulting paintings were quite different, as was typical of the sessions where the artists shared the same model. Gauguin's portrait included as background a picture he recently completed entitled Blue Trees. He painted Augustine in a straightforward, literal way.

In comparison, Van Gogh's work appeared more quickly executed and more thickly painted than that of Gauguin's painting. Van Gogh admired the work of Dutch master Frans Hals whose portraits display lively brushwork and the direct, spontaneous style of alla prima, or wet-on-wet. The yellow brushstrokes on the side of her head depict the gaslight. Instead of depicting the evening mood, he painted pots of sprouting bulbs. Van Gogh made a connection to her earthy nature by the depiction of germinating bulbs, essentially declaring her a "human tuber." Days after working on this painting Van Gogh began painting the remaining Roulin family members, including the four-month-old baby, Marcelle.

In addition to the mother-daughter works where Marcelle is visible, Van Gogh also created several La Berceuse works where Augustine rocked her unseen cradle by a string. Van Gogh labeled the group of work La Berceuse meaning "our lullaby or the woman rocking the cradle." The colour and setting were intended to set the scene of a lullaby, meant to give comfort to "lonely souls." Van Gogh imagined the painting in several types of settings, such as on an Icelandic fishing boat cabin walls—or the center piece to two Sunflower paintings.

Augustine Roulin died on 5 April 1930 at age 78.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • spouse relationship with Roulin, Joseph (born 4 April 1841). Notes: 1868-1903
  • (has as) other hierarchical relationship with Gauguin, Paul (born 7 June 1848). Notes: Painter/ model
  • (has as) other hierarchical relationship with Van Gogh, Vincent (born 30 March 1853). Notes: Painter/ model


  • Relationship : Marriage 31 August 1868 (Joseph Roulin)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth registry entry from Bouches-du-Rhône archives (no. 76).


  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (35 years with Joseph Roulin)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Three)
  • Vocation : Beauty : Model (Posed for paintings by Van Gogh and Gauguin)
  • Notable : Famous : Other Famous (Model for famous paintings by Van Gogh and Gauguin)