Who was Camille Claudel?
Camille Claudel was a French sculptor and graphic artist. She was the older sister of the French poet and diplomat, Paul Claudel.
Around 1884, she started working in Paul Rodin’s workshop. Claudel became a source of inspiration, his model, his confidante and lover.
Beginning in 1903, she exhibited her works at the Salon des Artistes français or at the Salon d’Automne. It would be a mistake to assume that Claudel’s reputation has survived simply because of her association with Rodin. She was described as “a revolt against nature: a woman genius”.
Camille began destroying her sculptures in 1905, a practice she continued until 1913 when she was institutionalized for mental illness. For the next thirty years, until her death in 1943, Camille lived in a mental hospital.
The last new work she completed without destroying it was a bust of her brother Paul in 1905.
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