The French film Séraphine stars Yolande Moreau as the 20th century artist Séraphine Louis–a poor housekeeper/painter who was discovered in 1912 by the German art collector Wilhelm Uhde. Uhde was only able to give Séraphine minor support before he had to flee France due to the war, but he eventually came back to France and happily found that Séraphine was not only alive, but had continued her painting. He immediately became her lead patron, giving her an allowance and finding exhibitors and buyers for her work, until the world economic woes hit the art world and Séraphine’s mental instabilities paralyzed her painting.
I absolutely love to watch people paint–from Bob Ross to Jackson Pollock to craftsters on Martha Stewart–and so I also love films about painters since they often include a variety of short and long scenes where the artists fervidly creates their famous masterpieces. However, the greatest part of this film is not watching Séraphine’s actual painting (although that is fantastic), but seeing her gather pigments and create her own paints (for example: stealing hot wax from the church’s prayer candles). The artist never revealed her methods of creating her vibrant colors, but the film’s version of her ingenuity is, nonetheless, absolutely fascinating!