camille claudel - biography (2)


Camille ClaudelThe family Claudel lives at 111 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Camille rents a studio in the same street, number 117, with some English friends, among them Jessie Lipscomb.
Alfred Boucher introduces Camille to Paul Dubois, director of the École des Beaux-Arts.
She models the asymmetric sculpture 'La Vieille Hélène' in an unusual naturalistic manner after a domestic of the Claudel family.

Rodin models 'Ugolino'. 


Portrait of Camille ClaudelLouis-Prosper is appointed to Rambouillet.
Replacing Alfred Boucher who was travelling to Italy to receive the award of Rome, Rodin supervises the class of Camille and her friends in their studio at rue 

A love letter, that for a long time has been suppressed and finally turned up in the house of Cécile Goldscheider, proves that already by the fall of 1883, while Camille is still 18,  Rodin and Camille had an intimate relationship. 
The artist writes to his "ferocious friend":

"This morning I ran around (for hours) to all our spots without finding you. Death would be sweeter! And how long is my agony. Why didn't you wait for me in the atelier, where are you going? (...) In a single instant I feel your terrible force. Have pity, mean girl. I can't go on. I can't go another day without seeing you. Atrocious madness, it's the end, I won't be able to work anymore. Malevolent goddess, and yet I love you furiously... . (...) Let me see you every day, which would be a good idea and might make me better, for only you can save me with your generosity. Don't let this slow and hideous sickness overtake my intelligence, the ardened and pure love I have for you - in short, have pity, my beloved, and you will be rewarded."

For the first time Camille takes part of the Salon of the Société des Artistes français (S.A.F.) and shows the 'Bust of Madame B...' in plaster. In the catalogue of this exhibition she is already mentioned as a pupil of Rodin and Dubois.


Camille enters the atelier of Rodin as trainee; she also becomes his model. In this and the following years, she inspires many sculptures by Rodin, who is breaking through to fame now: 'Fugitive Love' (1884), 'L'Éternel Printemps' (1884), 'Avarice and Lust' (1885), 'Faun and Nymph' (1886), 'The Kiss' (1886), 'Paolo & Francesca' (1887), 'Death of Adonis' (1888) and 'Eternal Idol' (1889). It is also said that Camille was the model for Rodin's 'Danaid' (1885). One could also interpret Rodin's 'Celle qui fut la Belle Heaulmière' as a counterpart to Camille's 'La vieille Hélène'.
Camille also continues to work in her own name: 'Torso of stooping woman', 'My brother'.


Camille with her friend Jessie in their atelierIn this year, Camille becomes an official collaborator of Rodin and works together with her friend Jessie Lipscomb in his atelier. Rodin finishes another portrayal of Camille: 'Aurore'.
The family Claudel moves to 31 boulevard de Port-Royal.
In April she is registered at the cabinet of anatomy in the Museum of History of Nature.
Camille travels to her uncle to the East of France in August and stays there for holidays.
Fusains: 'Mennie Jean' and 'Femme de Gérardmer', 'Torso of crouching woman', 'Bust of Louise Claudel', 'Study for Giganti', 'Bust of Jessie Lipscomb'.
S.A.F.: 'Giganti', 'La Vieille Hélène', terra-cotta.




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