Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
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Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
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Camille Claudel (1864-1943)

L'Implorante, petit modèle

Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
L'Implorante, petit modèle
signed, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'C. Claudel 36 EUG. BLOT PARIS' (on the top of the base)
bronze with dark brown patina
Height: 11 1/8 in. (28.2 cm.)
Length: 14 1/8 in. (36 cm.)
Conceived circa 1898; this bronze version cast by 1920
Gropper Art Gallery, Cambridge.
Mary H. O'Neill, Alabama (acquired from the above, May 1971).
Private collection, New Hampshire (by descent from the above); sale, Christie's, New York, 8 November 2012, lot 320.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
C. Goldscheider, Camille Claudel, Paris, 1951, p. 15, no. 26.
A. Rivière, L'Interdite: Camille Claudel, Paris, 1983, p. 76, no. 23.
R.-M. Paris, Camille Claudel, Paris, 1984, pp. 362-363.
R.-M. Paris and A. de la Chapelle, L'oeuvre de Camille Claudel: Catalogue raisonné, Nouvelle édition revue et complétée, Paris, 1991, pp. 164-166, no. 43 (another cast illustrated, p. 166).
G. Bouté, Camille Claudel: Le miroir et la nuit, Paris, 1995, pp. 146 and 148 (another cast illustrated in color, pp. 151-152).
R.-M. Paris, Camille Claudel retrouvée: Catalogue raisonné, Nouvelle édition revue et complétée, Paris, 2000, pp. 338-344, no. 41b (another cast illustrated in color, p. 341; another cast illustrated, p. 342).
A. Rivière, B. Gaudichon and D. Ghanassia, Camille Claudel: Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2004, pp. 138-144, no. 44.9 (another cast illustrated in color, p. 143).
R.-M. Paris, Chère Camille Claudel: Histoire d'une collection, Paris, 2012, no. 2 (another cast illustrated in color).
R.-M. Paris and P. Cressent, Camille Claudel: Intégrale des oeuvres, Paris, 2014, p. 629, no. 310 (another cast illustrated in color, p. 628).
R.-M. Paris and P. Cressent, Camille Claudel: Catalogue raisonné, cinquième édition revue, corrigée et augmentée, Paris, 2019, pp. 628-630, no. 96-6 (another cast illustrated in color, p. 629).

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Allegra Bettini
Allegra Bettini

Lot Essay

Reine-Marie Paris confirmed the authenticity of this work.

This bronze by Claudel is intimately linked with another ambitious sculptural group L'âge mûr. This multifigural sculpture, conceived in the late 1890s, represents a man urged towards old age by an elderly female figure. He is forced to leave behind his youth, represented by a younger, kneeling woman. The present work represents an essential element of that iconic, tripartite composition.
L'âge mûr undoubtedly represents an allegory of aging, yet it has been widely interpreted as a reference to the love triangle between Claudel, her lover Auguste Rodin, and his former partner, Rose Beuret. According to this reading, the kneeling female figure stands for the artist herself. Claudel’s brother, Paul—a devout Catholic who disapproved of her affair with Rodin and who would later be responsible for her institutionalization—certainly identified this figure with the artist; he later wrote about this work: “My sister Camille. Imploring, humiliated, on her knees, that superb, proud creature...what is being wrenched from her, right there before your very eyes, is her soul!” (quoted in R.-M. Paris and A. de la Chapelle, op. cit., p. 163).
Beyond its resonance with Claudel’s personal history, L'âge mûr has become one of the artist’s most famous works because of the universality of its theme, the dynamism of the protagonists, and the expressiveness of their gestures. The plaintive posture of LImplorante is particularly devastating: forced to her knees, she stretches out her arms, as if begging her lover not to leave her.

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