Camille Claudel
Maturity

Maturity
Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
Maturity
Circa 1902
Bronze group in three parts
H. 1.14; W. 1.63; D. 0.72 m
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Thierry Ollivier


Maturity

L'Age mûr [Maturity]


After the break between Camille Claudel and Rodin, the latter tried to help Camille indirectly and obtained a state commission for her from the Director of Fine Arts. Maturity was commissioned in 1895, and exhibited in 1899, but the bronze was never ordered and Claudel did not deliver the plaster model. It was Captain Tissier who finally commissioned the first bronze in 1902.

The group evokes Rodin's hesitation between his former mistress, who finally wins the day, and Camille who is reaching forward to stop him leaving. Beyond the details of her personal history, Camille has produced a thought-provoking symbolic work about human relationships. She included herself in the group in the figure she called The Imploring Woman, pinpointing the tragic side of her destiny.

The man in the waning years of his maturity is pulled vertiginously forward by old age while stretching an impotent hand towards youth. The nude figures are swathed in floating draperies which accentuate the speed of the movement. Paul Claudel said of it: "My sister Camille, Imploring, humiliated, on her knees, that superb, proud creature, and what is being wrenched from her, right there before your very eyes, is her soul."




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