By Seraphine de Senlis

Painting by Seraphine de Senlis

The first movie I streamed from Netflix was “Seraphine.” The critically acclaimed movie’s gentle pace was well-worth the patience it demanded. I loved the quality of light and the passionate sensitivity of this French film.

Seraphine Louis, also known as Seraphine de Senlis, was born in 1864. Her mother died when she was one, and her father died when she was seven. In 1881 she was employed as a domestic worker at a convent, where she received a divine message to create art.

By 1901 she was working as a housecleaner in Senlis. Her talent was recognized in 1912 when a neighbor was showing her work and her employer, German art critic Wilhelm Uhde, realized the artist was his housecleaner. Seraphine painted mostly by candlelight. Click here to read more about her life.

This is one of the few recent films around that I have found about heroic female artists (heroic in the sense of an indomitable spirit). If you’re looking for artistic inspiration watch Seraphine express her irrepresible urge to create.