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Posts Tagged ‘National Camille Claudel Museum’

This morning I was looking at a book on Auguste Rodin, the French sculptor who is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture.  I have had it for over 25 years.  I opened it at the page about the passionate love story of Rodin and Camille Claudel who was his lover, student and assistant. (Rodin also had a lover named Rose and many other affairs) She was 20 years younger than Rodin and only 18 when they met. I became intrigued by their relationship t-hat greatly influenced both their works.
220px-Camille_Claudel Camille Claudel (1863-1943)
 Camille was a woman who was a brilliant sculptor but eventually mental illness took over. She became paranoid that Rodin was copying her works.
Her passion for Rodin is seen in the photograph of her bronze “The Waltz”. Interesting that her erotic art sculptures were looked down upon because she was woman, but Rodin’s works that also shocked the art world were accepted and praised. Rodin bequeathed a room for Camille’s works in the Rodin Museum, but they did not make it into the Rodin Museum till 1953!  The national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine opened in 2017, and the Musée Rodin in Paris has a room dedicated to Claudel’s works.
camille claudel The Waltz Rodin
Rodin’s work caught my attention a few years ago after the Ghost Ranch retreat I facilitated.  I watched a documentary on Alfred Steiglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe’s husband, who showed some of Rodin’s works in his New York studio. Georgia O’Keeffe was determined to be free of Steiglitz’s control and lived on the Ghost Ranch for years, but she remained married to him and Steiglitz promoted O’Keeffe’s art. Unlike Camille, O’Keeffe’s works flourished and evolved till she was in her 90’s!
But it was Camille’s story that touched my heart this morning…so I thought I’d pass it on to my artistic readers. It shows how hard it has been for women to express freely who we truly are. Camille broke away from Rodin’s dominance, but unfortunately could not sustain her creativity for very long. She died in 1943 after 30 years in a mental institution.
If you are interested here is a link to more of Camille’s sculptures and story:
Art is sacred breath and soul…expressing who we are…let it flow in and out whatever way you desire…
Peacefully, Jane

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