November 12. Birth of Auguste Rodin, Paris.
December 8. Birth of Camille Claudel, Fère-en-Tardenois.
Rodin meets Rose Beuret, who bears him a son and lives with him
until the end of his life.
The Claudel family moves to Nogent-sur-Seine. Camille meets the
sculptor Alfred Boucher and models her first clay figurines.
The ministry of fine arts commissions The Gates of Hell
Claudel moves to Paris with her mother, sister Louise and brother
Paul. She attends lessons at Académie Colarossi. Boucher
supervises her work.
Rodin agrees to teach Boucher’s pupils. Rodin does probably
the first sculpted portrait of Claudel, Camille with Short Hair
Claudel shares a studio with other female artists. She exhibits
for the first time at the Salon des Artistes Français. In
the catalogue, she is listed as a pupil of Rodin, Boucher and Paul
Claudel joins Rodin’s studio as an assistant. She remains
until 1892. Deeply in love with his pupil, Rodin sculpts her face:
Mask of Camille Claudel, Camille Wearing a Bonnet
The town of Calais commissions a monument to The Burghers of
from Rodin. Rodin and Claudel work together in harmony,
sharing his studio and models.
Relations between the two lovers grow stormy. Jealous and irritated
by the society life that Rodin seems to enjoy, Claudel distances
herself from him. She visits friends in England from April to August.
From May to June, Rodin goes to England and tries in vain to meet
her. In October, a “contract.” is made wherein Rodin
undertakes to have no other pupil than Claudel, to protect her in
artistic circles, and to marry her after a trip to Italy or Chile.
In exchange, she agrees to let him visit her four times a month.
In November, Claudel works on Sakuntala
. The contract is
Eager for independence, Claudel moves into a studio rented by Rodin.
She begins the bust of Auguste Rodin and The Waltz
Claudel and Rodin visit Touraine. Rodin exhibits with Monet at Galerie
Claudel stays at Château de l’Islette, in Touraine.
Rodin joins her there.
The Société des Gens de Lettres commissions a monument
to Honoré de Balzac from Rodin.
Claudel and Rodin return to the Château de l’Islette.
Rodin begins work on Balzac
Professional and personal relations between Claudel and Rodin loosen.
Rodin continues to help her financially. Claudel sends Rodin sarcastic
drawings in which she depicts him as subservient to an old and ugly
Rose Beuret. In the summer, Claudel stays on her own at Château
de l’Islette in Touraine, possibly recovering from an abortion
she had between 1890 and 1893. She begins La Petite Châtelaine
Rodin and Beuret move to Bellevue. Claudel exhibits Clotho
and The Waltz
at the Salon of the Société
Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and works on the first version of The
Age of Maturity
. Seeking to gain her artistic independence,
Claudel explores new directions. She begins the “sketches
from nature,” small sculptures inspired by everyday life.
Claudel and Rodin see each other again. Rodin continues to help
her socially and financially. Haunted by Claudel’s face, Rodin
sculpts a series of allegorical portraits of her.
Claudel asks Mathias Morhardt to persuade Rodin to no longer visit
her, so that she cannot be accused of owing the success of her works
Claudel meets Countess Arthur de Maigret, who is her principal patron
until 1905. In a letter to Rodin, Camille expresses her admiration
Morhardt publishes an important article on Claudel in Mercure
. Claudel’s Hamadryad
are exhibited at the Société Nationale
des Beaux-Arts at the same time as Rodin’s Balzac
which is ridiculed by the press and public. The Société
des Gens de Lettres rejects it.
Claudel lives and works as a recluse. The plaster of The Age
is shown at the Salon of the Société
Nationale des Beaux-Arts. The commission for the bronze is cancelled
by the director of fine arts, Henry Roujon. Claudel blames Rodin
Rodin organizes a major exhibition of his works at the pavilion
From 1904, the art dealer Eugène Blot publishes bronze editions
of 15 of Claudel’s sculptures.
Claudel’s correspondence shows her increasing paranoia concerning
Rodin. She shows 11 bronzes and two marbles at Galerie Eugène
Blot. She completes her last original composition, a portrait bust
of her brother: Paul Claudel Aged Thirty-Seven
The fine arts administration commissions Wounded Niobid
by Rodin is shown at the Salon of the Société
Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Rodin has an affair with the Duchess of
Choiseul, who dominates his life until 1912.
When he visits his sister, Paul Claudel is devastated by the change
in her: “In Paris Camille crazy, Wallpaper pulled off in long
shreds, armchair broken and torn, horrible filthiness. She, enormous
and dirty, incessantly speaking in a metallic monotone.”
Claudel is committed to the asylum at Ville-Évrard. Raking
over her old obsessions, she accuses Rodin of having had her committed
so as to get his hands on her works. In July, the review L’Art
devotes an abundantly illustrated article
to Claudel, a re-publication of the article by her brother Paul
Despite her family’s opposition, Rodin continues to send money
to Claudel: “I would like you to see to it that Mademoiselle
Claudel’s lot is softened until she gets out of this Gehenna.”
– Rodin to Mathias Morhardt. Due to the war, Camille is transferred
to the asylum at Montdevergues in the Vaucluse.
Rodin donates his entire oeuvre and collection to the state, which
agrees to create a Rodin museum in the Hôtel Biron. The museum
opened in 1919.
Rodin marries Beuret in January, and Beuret dies in February. Rodin
dies November 17 at age 77.
Claudel dies October 19 at age 78, at Montdevergues.
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