Camille Claudel: a Study of her Life.

Essay by mdillongUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2003

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Research Paper: Camille Claudel

"Look at how lovely she is, oh, you can't imagine how lovely:...

But what is loveliest about her is her hair, red as gold."

Paul Claudel, L'Endormie

Camille Rosalie Claudel was born on December 8, 1864 into a modest family, and she was the first daughter; Henri was the oldest, but died in infancy. Louise was born in 1866 and Paul in 1868. The family moved to Paris from the Champagne region in 1881. Camille didn't quite get along with her mother and sister. They never really understood her personality and her art, and it was obvious that the preferred daughter was Louise. Luckily, they never had the power to smother Camille's talent and ambition.

On the other hand, Camille was always close to her brother Paul, and her father, who recognized her desire to create. Camille and Paul had more in common, especially their imaginative minds.

She began to work with clay as a small child, and no single event can be attributed to her passion. "Sculpture consumed her and drew in everyone around her- her father, her mother, her brother and sister; all had to pose for her even before she had taken a single lesson ." In an outstanding biography, "Camille: a Life", author Odile Ayral-Clause explains that Camille's early work attracted the attention of the sculptor Alfred Boucher. Boucher, like Camille, had started to sculpt as a child. A scholarship to the École des Beaux-Arts helped him mature into a successful sculptor who exhibited regularly at the Salon in spite of his young age. Intrigued by Camille's sculptural activities, he eventually dropped by to visit her studio. "What he saw impressed him, and since he had a generous nature, he returned to give her the much-needed guidance that she had yet to...