After fading into oblivion, Camille Claudel is now recognised as one of the great artists of her time.
She was born in 1864 in the Aisne region of France into a middle-class family and began modelling clay at a very young age, as a self-taught artist. The sculptor Alfred Boucher spotted her talent in Nogent-sur-Seine and became her first teacher. When he left for Italy, he entrusted her to a friend, Auguste Rodin. The young girl promptly joined the master’s studio and for ten years, the two sculptors shared their lives and studios, exchanging ideas, models and influences. Camille Claudel then affirmed her unique style, created a number of virtuoso works and became increasingly famous. After their separation, hurt by the constant comparison of her work with Rodin’s, she asserted her independence as an artist by completely redefining her inspiration. In the midst of mastering her art, Camille Claudel’s creativity was nevertheless thwarted by delusions of persecution. She barricaded herself in, destroyed her works and was eventually committed to a mental institution at the request of her family for the remainder of her life in 1943.