Friday, July 29, 2011

Séraphine Louis

A couple of nights ago, I watched the film Séraphine about the French artist Séraphine Louis or also known as "Séraphine de Senlis", a self-taught painter who painted in the naive style. It was an interesting film. Someone I had never heard of. As much as I love the art of Vincent Van Gogh, I am also very bored of watching documentaries and films about him. This movie was a breath of fresh air for me. The artist herself was quite a character. She worked as a maid during the day, sometimes carrying out more than one job. She painted by candle light and was inspired by her religion and other religious art. Her works are amazing. Her early works were painted mainly on small wooden panels. She used bright, strong colours - pigments she mixed herself using all sorts of 'exotic' ingredients. Later, she started painting on canvas which were provided to her by her collector, William Uhde. These paintings are much more intense and intricate and on a much larger scale (2m high). "In 1932, Séraphine was admitted for chronic psychosis to the psychiatric ward of a geriatric hospital at Clermont, where her artistry found no outlet. Although Uhde reported that she had died in 1934, Séraphine actually lived until 1942 in a hospital annex at Villers-sous-Erquery, where she died friendless and alone. She was buried in a common grave." 

*If you're in the UK, this film is available to watch on BBC iplayer till the 2nd of August 2011


  1. Thankyou so much for the introduction - her work and the woman herself seem fascinating. I shall seek this film out.

  2. You're welcome! If you're in the UK, it's available to watch on BBC Iplayer