Apollo Magazine

Camille Claudel

The Getty Center is celebrating one of the most precociously gifted sculptors of the late 19th century

Man Stooping (c. 1886), Camille Claudel. La Piscine – Musée d’art et d’industrie André Diligent, Roubaix. Photo: © Artcurial SAS

From an early age, French artist Camille Claudel showed a remarkable aptitude for sculpture. At 17, she commenced studies at the Académie Colarossi – one of the few French art institutions in the late 1800s to admit women. Following further mentorship by artist Alfred Boucher, she began working in the studio of prominent sculptor Auguste Rodin. There, Claudel expanded on her talents, creating commanding sculptures that saw her lauded for her brilliance and deemed a ‘woman genius’ by art critic Octave Mirbeau. Despite this high regard, a turbulent love affair with Rodin and her subsequent 30-year committal to a psychiatric institution has cast a dark shadow over Claudel’s legacy. In this exhibition of some 60 of the artist’s works, which have been paid little attention outside of France, the Getty Center reaffirms Claudel’s reputation as one of the most fascinating sculptors of the 19th century (2 April–21 July). Find out more on the Getty Center’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary

The Waltz (Allioli) (c. 1900), Camille Claudel. Private collection. Photo: Musée Yves Brayer

The Chatterboxes (1897), Camille Claudel. Musée Rodin, Paris. Photo: Christian Baraja; © Musée Rodin

The Age of Maturity (1899; cast 1902), Camille Claudel. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Photo: © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY

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