Today my husband and I spent time at our favorite place, the Boston MFA. Every time we go, I have to stop and say hello to my friend, Madame Roulin. (Is it strange to be friends with your favorite works??)
I did extensive research on her while working on my minor as an undergrad and loved learning about her relationship with Vincent Van Gogh. Madame Roulin was married to Van Gogh's close friend and the town postman, Joseph Roulin (pictured above). The Roulins had three children, and appropriately Madame Roulin is shown rocking her youngest's cradle with a rope. There are theories that Madame Roulin acted as a nurturing friend to Van Gogh, which is why he depicted her doing her work as a mother. This specific painting (there are five versions in total) was intended to be presented as a gift to Van Gogh's well known frenemy Paul Gaugin. In addition, Van Gogh wanted the work to hang between two of his sunflower paintings as a triptych. Yes, you read that correctly. Two sunflower paintings. Ever heard of those infamous works? I feel so lucky to see Madame Roulin each time I visit the Boston MFA. However, I would love to see if a couple of curators could get two sunflower paintings to flank it- even just for an exhibition's time. Also- in the spirit of Valentines day, I would love for the museum to bring out Joseph Roulin and display him near his lovely wife. But this type of feat is why I theme my dinner tables and not my art work.
Do you have a favorite Van Gogh painting? Or a work of any kind that you would love to see displayed as it were originally intended?
Comment below! Lets start a petition!