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Séraphine Louis, known as "Séraphine de Senlis" ("Séraphine of Senlis"), was born in Arsy (Oise) on September 3, 1864.
Séraphine's works are predominantly rich fantasies of intensely repeated and embellished floral arrangements. She used colors and pigments that she made herself from unusual and exotic ingredients she never revealed that have stood the test of time for durable vividness. Her paintings' surfaces have a matte, almost waxy appearance. Sometimes her signature (typically "S. Louis") was carved by knife, revealing a ground of contrasting color. In some cases, she appears to have signed her paintings before painting them.
Séraphine an artist consumed by an irrepressible urge to create – "this famous internal necessity of which Kandinsky spoke", terms employed by Bertrand Lorquin, conservator of the Musée Maillol in his introduction to the exhibition Séraphine Louis dite Séraphine de Senlis at the Musée Maillol in Paris which ran from October 1, 2008 to May 18, 2009).
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.
Séraphine's paintings are housed in the Musée Maillol in Paris, the Musée d'art de Senlis, the Musée d'art naïf in Nice, and the Musée d'Art moderne Lille Métropole in Villeneuve-d'Ascq.
In 2009, the French biographical film Séraphine by director Martin Provost won seven César Awards, including Best Film and Best Actress for Yolande Moreau who starred in the title role.
Alain Virdondelet, Séraphine de Senlis, Albin Michel, 1986.
Wilhelm Uhde, Cinq Maitres Primitifs, pp 127–139, Librairie Palmes (3, place Saint-Sulpice, Paris), Philippe Daudy Editeur, Paris, 1949
H M Gallot Séraphine, bouquetiére 'sans rivale' des fleurs maudites de l'instinct in L'Information artistique, N° 40, Etude de, pp 32, mai 1957
Jean-Pierre Foucher, Séraphine de Senlis, Éditions du Temps, coll., Paris, 1968, pp 124.
Alain Vircondelet, Séraphine de Senlis, Albin Michel, coll. , Une Vie, Paris, 1986, pp 217, 8 p. de planches illustrées.
Alain Vircondelet, Séraphine : de la peinture à la folie, éditions Albin Michel, Paris, 2008, pp 211.
Françoise Cloarec, Séraphine : la vie rêvée de Séraphine de Senlis, Phébus, Paris, 2008, pp 172, 8 p. de planches illustrées .
Marie-jo Bonnet, Séraphine Louis, un génie singulier, LM, Lesbia mag, N° 265, décembre 2008.
Catalogue de l'exposition Séraphine de Senlis, présentée à Paris, du 1st octobre 2008 au 5 janvier 2009, par la Fondation Dina Vierny et le Musée Maillol, avec la collaboration de la ville de Senlis. Textes de Bertrand Lorquin, Wilhelm Uhde et Jean-Louis Derenne. Publication : éditions Gallimard, Fondation Dina Vierny et Musée Maillol, Paris, 2008, pp 55, (Gallimard) ou (Fondation Dina Vierny et Musée Maillol).
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