A pencil drawing of the sculptress Camille Claudel (1864 – 1943). This portrait is part of my on-going series of paintings and drawings entitled “Women in love”.
Like many women artists of the 19th century, Camille had a tragic life and despite her obvious talent, remained in the shadow of her master and lover, Rodin. For those less familiar with her story, you can read about it below.
When they met he was already a famous sculptor, he was more than 40 years old, lame, short and also short-sighted.
Camille, instead, was a beautiful 18-year-old girl who had arrived in Paris in the 1880s from northern France with a head full of dreams.
She was the pupil, he was the master.
Eventually, they became lovers, and the works they created seem to be the representation of their tumultuous love which lasted ten years and would leave an indelible mark on both of them and on their artworks.
Camille believed in the impossible: she thought she would become a sculptress at a time when leading art schools didn’t allow women to enroll in their courses.
She enrolled in a less renowned art school, which admitted women, and soon, by any chance, she met Rodin and became his favorite pupil.
Rodin, a charismatic sculptor, assigned her the task of rough-hewing his works as well as of finishing hands and feet.
Their relationship certainly went beyond and became a relentless analysis of the compositions and in the works they made is difficult to identify Rodin’s and Camille’s contribution.
Rodin and Camille Claudel became a clandestine couple, but for a while, that thing didn’t seem to be very important.
To Camille Rodin was the sculptor and his lover, the art master and the seducer, and she was mesmerized and deeply in love with him.
He was married and promised that he would leave his wife for her, a thing that, obviously, would never happen!
It’s hard for you not to think of their love story looking at the famous sculpture entitled “The Kiss”.
She would go mad and would be committed to an asylum, where she would die at the age of 78.
Rodin would achieve success and become the great sculptor we all know, even though doubts that some of his masterpieces were actually conceived and made together with Camille persist.
Rodin used Camille Claudel’s skills as if she were any other assistant, but it’s hard to look at some works from that period and not to think of their troubled relationship.
Camille prepared the clay, the plaster and the structure, modeled the hands and the feet of the sculptures, and it seems impossible that they didn’t share the stylistic choices.
In the spring of 2017 in Nogent-sur-Seine, a small French town in the south-east of Paris, the Musée Camille Claudel opened to the public, which is a museum completely devoted to Camille’s artworks.
In fact, Camille left amazing artworks, although they’re few, which prove how great was her talent and where movement and stillness are in perfect balance.
Source: edited and adapted after The Art Post Blog article: “RODIN AND CAMILLE CLAUDEL: A LOVE AND AN ART STORY”
Drawn on an A3 size paper (29.7 x 42 cm), the actual size for this drawing is 24 X 29cm - Time Taken 30+ hours.
The drawing is being sold unframed to reduce shipping costs - however, I can offer to have it tastefully framed for you, behind glass and with a modern black, narrow metal frame (similar to the in situ photos shown for illustration purposes. To ship with the same frame used in the example photos will cost an additional 100 euros - Please send me a message to discuss this option.
This drawing will be shipped to you in a reinforced envelope, sandwiched between two carton layers and wrapped for protection against moisture or rough handling in transport. A certificate of authenticity will be included. Given that everything goes smoothly with the postal services, the parcel should typically arrive within 10 days. I take all measures to use a trusted shipping agent, with tracking and insurance.
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Mars Lumograph Staedler pencils on fine art smooth paper, fixative for protection