I am unable to protect you from the harm that I see | Camille Claudel, 1864 -1943

 César, Portrait of Camille Claudel, 1885                                            William Elborne, Camille Claudel & Jessie Lipscomb, N°117 rue Notre Dame des Champs, 1887 


“There is always something missing that torments me.”

“I have fallen into an abyss. I live in a world so curious, so strange. Of the dream that was my life, this is my nightmare.”

"I sleep completely naked to make me believe you are here, but when I wake up it is not the same thing. 
Most of all, don't deceive me with other women any more."

"Don't fear anything for your letters, they are burnt one by one and I hope you do the same with mine."

“You stole it all! My youth, my work! Everything!”

''I am in no mood to be deceived any longer by the crafty devil and false 
character whose greatest pleasure is to take advantage of everyone.''

"I tolerate my faults but not at all other people’s."


 Camille Claudel, Les cuaseuses                                               Auguste Rodin, L'Adieu / Farewell, 1892


''I took all my wax studies and threw them in the fire... that's the way it is when something unpleasant happens to me. 
I take my hammer and I squash a figure.''

“I don't want to say anything because I know I am unable to protect you from the harm that I see.”

“They try to force me to sculpt here. They don't succeed, so they make trouble for me.”

"Madhouses are houses made on purpose to cause suffering... I cannot stand any longer the screams of these creatures."

"You know what black hatred women feel toward me as soon as they see me, until I return inside my shell, they use every possible weapon. As soon as a generous man tries to help me out, a woman is here to hold his arm and prevent him from acting."

"You promised to take care of me and not to turn your back on me. How is it possible that you never wrote to me even once and you never came back to see me? Do you think that it is fun for me to spend months, even years, without any news, without any hope!"


Camille Claudel, Cacountala, 1905                                                                   Camille Claudel


"I am not feeling any better because I cannot stay in bed, having constant cause for walking. They say I leave 
at night by the window of my tower, hanging from a red umbrella with which I set fire to the forest!"

"You find me at work; excuse the dust on my blouse. I sculpt my marble myself."

"Send me one hundred francs on our future deals, otherwise I will disappear in a cataclysm."

"If you are nice, and keep your promise, we will be in paradise."

"I am scared; I don't know what is going to happen to me. What was the point of working so hard and of being 
talented, to be rewarded like this? Never a penny, tormented all my life. It is horrible; one cannot imagine it."

"I thank you for your kind invitation to introduce me to the president of the Republic. Since I have not been 
out of my atelier for two months, I have no appropriate costume for this circumstance. Please excuse me."


Camille Claudel, 1864 -1943


Camille Claudel with friend and fellow artist Ghita Theuriet, 1880                             Camille Claudel with her family at the balcony of their appartment in Paris


Camille Claudel was a French sculptor and graphic artist. She was the older sister of the French poet and diplomat, Paul Claudel. Twenty-four years Claudel's senior, Auguste Rodin took her on as an assistant in 1884, turning her into his model and mistress by the time she was 20. Camille Claudel created many of the figures in Rodin's most famous works, including “The Gates of Hell” and “The Burghers of Calais”.


Camille Claudel, La Valse, 1893                                                                 Camille Claudel, La Valse, 1905
Camille Claudel, La Jeune Fille à la gerbe, 1887
Camille Claudel, Young Girl with a Sheaf, 1887
Camille Claudel, La vague or Les baigneuses, 1893-95
 Camille Claudel, Hands 
Camille Claudel, Agenda  
Letter from Camille Claudel to Auguste Rodin, Summer 1890-91
Auguste Rodin, The Mask of Camille Claudel, 1887

“I showed her where to find gold, but the gold was within her.”

Auguste Rodin

Camille Claudel posing for Rodin
Folie-Neuburg, Street Chant de l'Alouette, workshop where Auguste Rodin worked with Camille Claudel
 Camille Claudel
Camille Claudel
Camille Claudel
Camille Claudel, The Hand, 1891 
Camille Claudel, The Hand, 1891  


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