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Seraphine Louis (1864-1934)

Tree of Paradise, 1925

Seraphine Louis was a Neo-Primitive French painter who used flowers and the human form to create colorful and fantastical compositions. Originally a shepherdess and kitchen worker, Louis taught herself to paint, and is sometimes credited as Seraphine de Senlis. She is said to have been one of the most influential of all the French nave artists, second only to Henri Rousseau.


There is much mystique surrounding the legend of Seraphine Louis. It is said that when she painted, she was in a trancelike state, and that she was considered crazy from 1930 on, and sadly died in an asylum. Despite the fact that she was a fairly accomplished artist, Louis lived a life of relative poverty, and often had trouble simply obtaining canvas to work on.

Blatter and Berries, 1920

Today her work is housed all over Paris, and perhaps in your own home. Though she did not likely travel abroad due to her relative poverty, there is no telling where or to whom she may have sold her paintings. Still wondering about a French nave painting in your home? Contact may be by Seraphine Louise.

Ornamental Foliage