Photo: Camille Claudel in 1884 (age 19)

Camille Claudel (8 Dec. 1864-19 Oct. 1943); French sculptor and graphic artist. Died in relative obscurity, but subsequently gained recognition for the originality of her work.

...Fascinated with stone and soil as a child, as a young woman she studied at the Académie Colarossi, one of the few places open to female students, with sculptor Alfred Boucher.... In 1882, Claudel rented a workshop with other young women.... Boucher became her mentor ... and depicted her in "Camille Claudel lisant"; later she herself sculpted a bust of her mentor. Before moving to Florence and after having taught Claudel and others for over 3 years, Boucher asked Auguste Rodin to take over the instruction of his pupils. This is how Rodin and Claudel met and their tumultuous and passionate relationship started.

....Octave Mirbeau described her as "A revolt against nature: a woman genius." Her early work is similar to Rodin's in spirit, but shows an imagination and lyricism quite her own, particularly in the famous Bronze Waltz (1893).

....most modern authors agree that she was an outstanding genius who, starting with wealth, beauty, iron will and a brilliant future even before meeting Rodin, was never rewarded and died in loneliness, poverty and obscurity.

....Less known than her love affair with Rodin, her relationship with Claude Debussy has also been the object of much speculation.

...After 1905, Claudel appeared to be mentally ill.... Doctors tried to convince the family that she need not be in the institution, but still they kept her there.... Claudel died after living 30 years in the asylum at Montfavet. (Wikipedia)

In 1988, the director Bruno Nyutten made a feature film about the life of the sculptor and her complex relationship with Rodin. The film won 5 Cesar awards and had two nominations for Oscar.
In 2013, the director Bruno Dumont made the film Camille Claudel, 1915.
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First Collected by

Henrik Sputnes


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