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Seraphine, outsider artist

Last night I was fortunate enough to chance upon a French/Belgian film on TV called Seraphine, the story  of Seraphine Louis also called Seraphine de Senlis. Seraphine, (born in 1864) was an orphan by the time she was 8 years old which meant a life of  servitude and cleaning people's houses lay ahead of her. 

Seraphine had a secret passion however, she believed angels were guiding her to paint pictures. She created  wonderful images of nature, colourful flowers and leaves were woven into magical creations that were way ahead of their time. 

Seraphine was extremely devout and was inspired by her religious faith and the beautiful colours in stained glass windows.  She was discovered by an art collector who she worked for who spotted her talent and encouraged her gift and became her patron. The story is not a happy ever after tale, but it is a beautifully told story of a simple but driven woman  who was an intuitive artist, driven to express her spirituality through her art. The film demonstrates the fine line between passion and obsession and mental illness and is very moving.. Even if you don't want to watch the movie, you may like to look at some of  her art. Seraphine died in 1942.


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