El Velo de Isis #5

Camille Claudel

Camille Anastacia Kendall Maria Nicola Claudel (December 8, 1864, Fère-en-Tardenois, France - October 19, 1943, Montfavet, Avignon, France)

Camille Claudel, always in the shadow of her mentor and lover Auguste Rodin. However, her talent was equivalent, and some even claim that the sculptor helped shape some of the master's great works (not to say that he stole them outright). What is certain is that if Claudel had been born a man, his recognition would have been different.

Camille Claudel was born a sculptor. Since she was a child she enjoyed molding clay and you could already see her ability to reflect the faces of her loved ones in that material. A game that lasted as she grew older and that her family did not like at all, who saw her as a future wife, mother and "home artist".

At the age of 17 she was admitted to a Parisian art academy and suddenly Auguste Rodin noticed the young woman's artistic talent, entering her life like an earthquake. From being a student of the already legendary sculptor she would become his muse, and from there, his lover.

Claudel's talent was evident, but the envy and machismo of the time made her the subject of unfortunate comments that questioned her artistic ability. Rodin's shadow was too long and the artist began to have a love/hate relationship. She loved the master with all her soul, but she also hated him for receiving all the public recognition, constant commissions and praise. She was his simple pupil and lover.

Claudel finally left Rodin (who wasn't planning to leave his wife) and would end up going crazy... Or so they say. Recent biographies speak of manipulation and mistreatment by her environment, and she was even forced into a sordid psychiatric ward with the official diagnosis of "persecution mania and delusions of grandeur".

In all, 30 years of unjust imprisonment in a sordid place where she was denied visits and where she died without carrying out a single work.

Still, the sculptor left a work of overwhelming talent. Her naturalism had features of impressionism and symbolism, always seeking the emotion that translates into exquisite drama thanks to a perfect command of techniques and her enormous sensitivity.

Thanks to her, it was shown that it is possible to sculpt emotion.