Seraphine de Senlis | the artist




The artist Seraphine de Senlis
Born Sept 3 1864, Assy, France.
Died 1942 Senlis.

Style and technique of the artist: Painting, Documenta Kassel,


Seraphine, the movie (DVD).




Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website:









Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.

Musée d’Art Naïf
Alongside her arduous day jobs, Séraphine painted by candlelight, largely in secret isolation, until her considerable body of work was discovered in 1912 by German art collector Wilhelm Uhde.1 While in Senlis, Uhde saw a still-life of apples at his neighbor’s house and was astonished to learn that Séraphine, his housecleaner, was the artist.2 His support had barely begun to lift her horizons when he was forced to leave France in August 1914; the war between France and Germany had made him an unwelcome outsider in Senlis, much as Séraphine was, given her eccentric persona. They only reestablished contact in 1927 when Uhde – back in France and living in Chantilly – visited an exhibition of local artists in Senlis and, seeing Séraphine’s work, realized that she had survived and her art had flourished. Under Uhde’s patronage, Séraphine began painting large canvases as large as two meters high, and she achieved prominence as the naïve painter of her day. In 1929, Uhde organized an exhibition, “Painters of the Sacred Heart,” that featured Séraphine’s art, launching her into a period of financial success she had never known – and was ill prepared to manage. Then, in 1930, with the effects of the Great Depression destroying the finances of her patrons, Uhde had no choice except to stop buying her paintings…
In 1912 Seraphine’s paint­ings were dis­cov­ered by the Ger­man art col­lec­tor Wil­helm Uhde. Uhde came to Sen­lis for a rest from his work as an art critic. He had rented a large apart­ment and hired Seraphine as his house­keeper. His neigh­bors upon find­ing out that they were liv­ing next to the promi­nent art dealer, critic, writer and col­lec­tor Wil­helm Uhde invited him to a din­ner party to dis­cuss art and cul­ture. Uhde accepted the invi­ta­tion and attended. Dur­ing din­ner Uhde saw a paint­ing of some Apples, strik­ing and unusual in color and form, he Mar­veled at the beauty, strange­ness and artistry of the piece. Uhde inquired about the artist learn­ing that it was in fact a paint­ing done by his house­keeper Seraphine…



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