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 from Rodin.

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 Dubois.

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 Calais 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 never fulfilled.

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 Georges Petit.

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 to him.

Claudel meets Countess Arthur de Maigret, who is her principal patron until 1905. In a letter to Rodin, Camille expresses her admiration for Balzac.

Morhardt publishes an important article on Claudel in Mercure de France. Claudel’s Hamadryad and Deep Thought 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 of Maturity 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 for this.

Rodin organizes a major exhibition of his works at the pavilion de l’Alma.

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 from Claudel.

Walking Man 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 décoratif devotes an abundantly illustrated article to Claudel, a re-publication of the article by her brother Paul in 1905.

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.

Click Here to download a printable file (Microsoft® Word format).

back to “Media Room”