Frequently Asked Questions Van Gogh Paintings

La Mousmé, Sitting by Vincent van Gogh

La Mousmé, Sitting - Vincent van GoghWe recently received a request for more information about Van Gogh’s painting La Mousmé, Sitting and the specifically the meaning of La Mousmé in English. According to The National Gallery of Art website, La Mousmé “came from a character in a popular novel set in Japan. ‘A mousmé is a Japanese girl-Provençal in this case-twelve to fourteen years old.’” For more information please see the National Gallery of Art’s description of La Mousmé. If you have more information about this painting, or a question about another painting, please feel free to comment.  I will do my best to help you find out more about it. I will also share any items of interest that I come across, so that everyone may benefit.


  1. I am very curious about van goghs paintings because i bought at a garage sale two paintings that are the sunflower and also the painting of armaund rolin,how can i find out how old these paintings are especially when they look very old. In the back they have the name of an art gallery in the netherlands.

  2. Nobody knows who is exactly this young girl. I just say that: sometimes ago, on a flea market in Paris, I saw an old pic, perhaps taken before 1900, perhaps just after, with a girl in the same feature, who held a flower in his hand., like on the painting. (it was not the same girl indeed) Also, I think it was usual for a young girl’s portrait. Is it possible this painting is made after a pic ?without the live model ? Vincent also painted his mother’s portrait after a pic.The name “Mousmé” is taken from Pierre Loti, french writer, who travelled in Japan, and whom Vincent was very fond of.

  3. I am actually writing a paper on this particular piece (I am an art history major) and the model’s name is Adeline Ravoux, she was a young girl in Arles, (south) France that modeled for him several times.

  4. Alyssa, Thank you very much for shedding some light on this painting and sharing the model’s name with us. We appreciate your input and are always eager to learn more about Van Gogh and his paintings from our visitors and contributors.

  5. What an adorable girl! Van Gogh really captured her emotions and expressions. He should’ve given her a smile. Gotta give it up to him though. Van Gogh.

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