La Mousme Vincent van Gogh Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The painting with the Japanese name, La Mousme, was stimulated by Japanese artwork and Pierre's book Madame Chrysantheme. Van Gogh showed a well-dressed girl between the ages of twelve and fourteen. In 1888 Feb, Van Gogh relocated to Arles.

During his stay, he got his new ultimate and created some of the best works. This is also probably one of Gogh's happiest times. He is open, confident, and seems satisfied. The purpose and determination that distinguish Van Gogh's art can be overshadowed by the memorable legends that have sprung concerning his life. The correspondence of the artist, especially with his short maturity from 1888 to 1890, contradicts the popular wisdom and testifies to the intention, integrity, and sensitivity of his work.

On 1888 July 29th, Van wrote a letter to his brother Theo. He was a painting dealer in a Paris gallery. He told him that he had just created a mousmé painting and it took him a whole week. Van Gogh's fictional source was a well-known novel of the time, whose story about the Frenchman's romance with the Japanese is reflected in French passion for Japanese culture.

One of the main characters of the book, a young beautiful Japanese girl, was described in the author's native language as a musical that Van Gogh used as inspiration for this picture of a young Provençale lady. The cautiously exhibited face and strong linear patterns in bright harmonizing colours that define the girl are artistic devices that show Van Gogh's compassionate response to his young model. In several explanations of the portrait, Van Gogh stated the oleander flowers in her small hand. The meaning of the blossoms is unclear, though it may be connected to the artist's pantheistic certainty in the regular cycles of renewal and birth.

Van Gogh inscribed that La Mousmé belongs to the collection of picture studies. He said that was the only thing that excited him to the depths of his soul and that makes him feel more than anything else when he paints. The use of colour by Van Gogh should be symbolic. The viewer is attracted by the use of colours and patterns that add intensity and energy to the work. The extra orange and blue, an artistic deviancy from the colours of Imitator pictures developed during his studies in Paris, contrasts with the bright green spring in the background. The outfit of La Mousmé is a combination of modernity and tradition.

The girl's outfit is modern. The lively shades of the jacket and skirt come from the southern area of Arles. In Van Gogh's facial features, his main focus is on the girl's face, which gives her the colour of a girl originating from Arles, however, she has a Japanese influence. The attitude of a young lady imitates the attitude of oleander. Blooming oleander looks like a young girl. The portrait is found in a collection of arts at Washington, DC, at the National Gallery.