Gisele painted Mother with her head and eyes looking up because she believes that is how she lived her life … looking up to God. She said of the work, “Through her glance raised towards the sky, I wanted to express all her fervor, humility and altruism … this holy woman devoted her life to the children of Calcutta, in India, and other third world countries.” Gisele visited the Museum when the collection was unveiled in 2016.
Gisele is fascinated with the velvety touch and subtle nuances of pastels. She says that she must find a face interesting, be drawn to it, in order to paint it. She was easily drawn to Mother Teresa's face as it bears great interest. Each prominent line speaks volumes of her hours in the sun and the strain she endured in her constant service to others. Yet, still, she was quite often seen with a smile upon her face.
Gisele was born in Charente-Maritime, France. She lives in the French Atlantic coastal town of La Rochelle. She has practiced drawing and painting since 1990. She began creating art with watercolor but upon discovering pastels in 1997, has remained with that medium.
Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic Sister and missionary who founded the Missionaries of Charity. Members adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as well as a fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.” Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize. On September 4, 2017, she was canonized as a Saint by the Catholic Church.
Further information on Mother Teresa:
Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu - (born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), commonly known as Mother Teresa and honored in the Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian-Indian, Roman Catholic nun, and missionary. She was born in Skopje (now the capital of North Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. After living in Skopje for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland, and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.
In 1950, Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that had over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis. It also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children's and family counselling programs, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, and also profess a fourth vow – to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor."
Teresa received a number of honors, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was canonized on 4 September 2016, and the anniversary of her death (5 September) is her feast day.
A controversial figure during her life and after her death, Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised and criticized on various counts, such as for her views on abortion and contraception, and was criticized for poor conditions in her houses for the dying. Her authorized biography was written by Navin Chawla and published in 1992, and she has been the subject of films and other books. On 6 September 2017, Teresa and St. Francis Xavier were named co-patrons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta.