Camille Claudel a French sculptor who broke moulds for women in art. Claudel “The Age of Maturity” legend whose achievement has left a lasting legacy and universally acknowledged as a great sculptor in her own right.
By Sindhu Shivdas
Throughout history, there has been a famous sculptor who has withstood the test of time. Perhaps they are valued for their ability to create highly realistic figures or maybe they are prized for their willingness to push boundaries and defy expectations. Camille Claudel is one of the names that stood the test of time.
Playing in two dimensions is easy enough, but what truly separates the women from the girls? Maybe it’s when you give up your easel for a tool belt and get to work with hammer and chisel. Such a sculptor was Camille a unique artist deeply involved in creating and constantly trying to open new doors.
Camille Claudel was born in 1864 in Fere-en-Tardenois, France. The French sculptor who defied gender based restrictions to pursue her art, She did her art studies at the Academie Colarossi in Paris, one of the handful of progressive art schools that accepted women students. Sculptor Alfred Boucher one of the most celebrated French sculptor of the late 19th century took Claudel under his wing and became her mentor for over three years, before moving to Florence.
Under Boucher’s guidance, she rented a workshop in 1882 with other young women sculptors including English sculptor Lipscomb. Claudel recognition for artistic talents came retrospectively and she is also remembered for her dramatic relationship with renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin. A major turning point in Claudel’s professional and personnel life occurred in the autumn of 1882, when Alfred Boucher left paris for Italy and asked his friend, the renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin, to take over supervising Claudel’s studio.
Being Rodin’s only female student, Claudel quickly proved her talents through contributions to some of Rodin’s most monumental works, including the hands and feet of several figures in The Gates of Hell. Working with Rodin she became romantically involved with him.
Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin Passionate Love Affair
Claudel and Rodin shared a connection beyond sculpture, and by 1882 the pair was engaged in love affair. Rodin was a married person got infactuated with Claudel’s style and encouraged her to exhibit and sell her works. He also used Claudel as a model for both individual portraits and anatomical elements on larger works, such as La Pensee and The kiss.
Since there was gender-based discrimination which was rife in the art world, Claudel couldn’t release some of her daring sculpture ideas and she turned to Rodin to collaborate with her in order to get them made. And this instead made Rodin to receive credit for her ideas. This led to the breakdown of their long-term relationship and Claudel struggled to gain recognition of her own.
Camille Fighting For Recognition
Although continued to be productive through the first several years of the 20th century, the loss of Rodin’s public endorsement made her to struggled to find support. And moreover commisions of her work were scant due to her highly individual style which did not suit conserative tastes at the time, which paved her to mental illness and poverty. Continue reading “Camille Claudel: The Famous Sculptor Who Changed The History Of Art”