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    Sale 11794

    Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

    23 June 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 286

    Camille Claudel (1864-1943)

    La profonde pensée or Intimité

    Price Realised  


    Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
    La profonde pensée or Intimité
    signed, numbered and stamped with the foundry mark 'C. CLAUDEL EUG. BLOT PARIS 9' (on the top of the base)
    onyx and bronze with golden brown and red patina
    Height: 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm.)
    Conceived in 1898 and cast by Blot in 1905 in a numbered edition of ten

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    Reine-Marie Paris has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
    Danielle Ghanassia has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

    ‘The female form [of La profonde pensée] is one of the most beautiful subjects ever moulded by the hand of the sculptor. As is always the case with Claudel, she expresses a vivid inner movement: the joined knees, the tension in the legs, the curve of the back and the arms raised to the heavens’ (A.M Paris & A. de la Chapelle, L’oeuvre de Camille Claudel, Catalogue Raisonné, nouvelle édition revue et complète, Paris, 1991, p. 201).

    Camille Claudel was interested in creating sculptures that represented the rituals of everyday life; she called them croquis d’après nature. In La Profonde pensée ou Intimité, the choice of a woman on her knees in front of a chimney as the subject for a sculpture was a remarkably modern statement in 1898 when she first conceived it, and she portrayed it with a uniquely feminine sensibility.

    Also titled La Bûche de Noël, Profonde pensée was originally intended to be cast in an edition of 50. This number was consequently halved, however, and records of the Eugène Blot foundry show that only ten versions of the work were ever cast and sold, representing its entire final casting. Of these, and before the rediscovery of our cast, number 10 and number 6 were the only two known to be conceived with the fireplace in a material other than bronze. The former, with the fireplace in onyx, was Blot’s personal version. We are honoured to be able to present this version, number 9, as a recent rediscovery from a private Greek collection, modelled in bronze and onyx, and a unique example of a rare bronze by the artist in the market not seen by the public for a decade.


    Private collection, Greece.

    Pre-Lot Text



    P. Claudel, 'Ma soeur Camille, son oeuvre est l'histoire de sa vie', in Le Figaro Littéraire, 17 November 1951, p. 9.
    A. Rivière, L'Interdite, Camille Claudel 1864-1943, Paris, 1983, no. 56, p. 79 (titled 'Cheminée').
    B. Gaudichon, exh. cat., Camille Claudel (1864-1943), Paris, 1984, no. 94c, p. 120 (the marble version illustrated).
    R.-M. Paris, Camille Claudel, 1864-1943, Paris, 1984, p. 365.
    J. Cassar, Dossier Camille Claudel, Paris, 1987, p. 512.
    R.-M. Paris, Camille: The Life of Camille Claudel, Rodin's Muse and Mistress, London, 1988, p. 235 (another cast illustrated p. 215).
    R.-M. Paris & A. de La Chapelle, L'oeuvre de Camille Claudel, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1991, no. 55, pp. 187-188 (another cast illustrated p. 188).
    G. Bouté, Camille Claudel: Le miroir et la nuit, Paris, 1995, pp. 230-231.
    R.-M. Paris de La Chapelle, exh. cat., Camille Claudel, 1864-1943: Esculturas, Desenhos e Pinturas, São Paulo, 1997, p. 158 (another cast illustrated p. 159).
    J.A. Schmoll, Rodin and Camille Claudel, Munich, 1999, p. 128 (another cast illustrated p. 104).
    R.-M. Paris, Camille Claudel re-trouvée: catalogue raisonné, nouvelle édition revue et complétée, Paris, 2000, no. 53, p. 405 (another cast illustrated p. 404).
    A. Rivière, B. Gaudichon & D. Ghanassia, Camille Claude, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2001, no. 57.6, pp. 171-173 (another cast illustrated p. 172).
    R.-M. Paris & P. Cressent, Camille Claudel, Complete Work, Paris, 2014, no. 272, p. 555 (another cast illustrated p. 554).