Self-taught artist painting to hang in Louvre

Untrained artist's work to hang in Louvre

A self-taught artist is marvelling today after discovering her nude painting will be hung alongside Rembrandts in the Louvre in Paris.

Heath Rosselli decided to paint her friend Evelyn Satterlee 11 years ago when Evelyn was diagnosed with breast cancer and had her right breast removed.

Heath painted Evelyn in a bid to change society’s perceptions of mastectomies.

Following chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Evelyn was given the all-clear in 1996. She agreed to sit for her budding artist friend to draw a line under the painful disease, to say ‘I am done with cancer now and that part of my life is now in the past.’

The painting, simply titled Evelyn, shows the sitter’s visible mastectomy scar and it was always Heath’s intention to stop viewers from seeing mastectomies as a disfigurement.

After the painting was unveiled in 1997, Evelyn said of the work: ‘I consider my missing breast just a blemish – in the same way I think my thighs are too big and I have more wrinkles than I used to.’

And how did the work of art come to hang in such prestigious surroundings? It is set to be part of an exhibition devoted to ‘the changing face of breast cancer’.

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