CLAUDEL, Camille
(b. 1864, Fêre-en-Tardenois, d. 1943, Montdevergues)

Biography

French sculptor, the elder sister of writer Paul Claudel. Her early interest in sculpture with symbolic meanings was fostered by artist Alfred Boucher. In 1881, she moved from Nogent-sur-Seine to Paris, and it was most probably in 1882 that she met and became a student of sculptor Auguste Rodin. Their relationship, which evolved into a tempestuous affair lasting until 1898, was initially one of artistic encouragement and development, but later it proved to undermine her artistic identity and contribute to her intense persecution mania for which she was later hospitalised. She adopted the master's craggy modeling style and themes of desire, secrecy, and decay as found in Rodin's The Gates of Hell. As a draftsman, she executed many portrait heads in a Social Realist style. By 1914 she was interned to a home in Montdevergues where she remained until her death in 1943.