Camille Claudel
French sculptor and graphic artist



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Camille Claudel
French sculptor and graphic artist
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Birth Date

December 08, 1864

Place of Birth

France, Fère-en-Tardenois

Death Date

October 19, 1943

Place of Death

France, Avignon

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Camille Claudel may not have emerged victorious over the battle that is life, but she sure gave it her all.

As if becoming an artist wasn't hard enough, back in the 19th century, it was virtually impossible as a female. Women were generally not respected in the art world, and were even prohibited from attending many of the best art institutes around. This did not discourage Claudel though, for she persevered and landed herself a spot at the Academe Colarossi where she learned the craft of sculpture.

From there she went on to study under Auguste Rodin. While the opportunity to learn from such an infamous sculptor was surely exciting, little did she know, her relationship with Rodin would quickly become one of the most intense and defining elements in her life. These two quickly developed a passionate love/work relationship, but when Rodin refused to leave his wife of 20 years, Claudel went totally psycho on him.

She eventually became neurotic and was convinced that Rodin was trying to steal her ideas and kill her. Turns out she was suffering from schizophrenia, which ultimately lead to her mental breakdown. After this mental snap, Claudel destroyed the majority of her art. Due to the breakdown, her family put her in a mental institution where she lived for the next thirty years until she died. Sadly, she actually may not have been as ill as legend has it. Turns out doctors repeatedly asked Claudel's family to release her from the institution, but her family refused. Upon her death, none of her family came to visit or hold a funeral so the mental hospital decided to burry her in a communal gave instead. So the take away here is that Claudel had a cold callous family. 

The 1988 film Camille Claudel features Isabelle Adjani as the title character with Gérard Depardieu as Rodin. Adjani received an Academy Award Nomination for this role however, Jessica Tandy won for 'Driving Miss Daisy.'

Camille Claudel, the musical, was written by Nan Knighton and Frank Wildhorn in 2003, but never hit it big on Broadway. The finale song Gold was played at the 2002 Winter Olympics. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Camille Claudel

Camille Claudel (French pronunciation: [kamij klɔdɛl] (About this soundlisten); 8 December 1864 – 19 October 1943) was a French sculptor known for her figurative works in bronze and marble. She died in relative obscurity, but later gained recognition for the originality and quality of her work. The subject of several biographies and films, Claudel is well known for her sculptures including The Waltz, and The Mature Age.

The national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine opened in 2017, and the Musée Rodin in Paris has a room dedicated to her works.

Sculptures created by Claudel are also held in the collections of several major museums including the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Camille Claudel.