Séraphine Louis, known as “Séraphine de Senlis” (1864–1942), was a French painter in the naïve style. Self-taught, she was inspired by her religious faith and by stained-glass church windows and other religious art. The intensity of her images, both in colour and in replicative designs, are sometimes interpreted as a reflection of her own psyche, walking a tightrope between ecstasy and mental illness.
In 1932, Séraphine was admitted for “chronic psychosis” at Clermont’s lunatic asylum, where her artistry found no outlet. Although she was reported to have 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.