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Camille Claudel (1864 -1943)
An album to Record Opinions, Thoughts, Feelings, Ideas, Peculiarities, Impressions, Characteristics
1888 (16 May)
Ink on paper
H. 38.2 cm ; W. 23.2 cm
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In 1886, Claudel stayed with her friend Florence Jeans at her home in Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. Two years later, the latter asked Camille and other friends to fill in the questionnaire, a very popular form of entertainment in certain circles of society on both sides of the Channel at this time, intended to reveal the personality of those who responded in an amusing manner. On this occasion, Camille Claudel was shown to have a strong character.
Numerous celebrities, such as the French neurologist Professor Charcot (1825-93) and Claude Debussy (1862-1918), responded, but the questionnaire was named after a man of letters, Marcel Proust (1871-1922), who filled it in twice.
Camille Claudel was only 24 years old and the deliberately provocative, occasionally darkly ironic tone of her answers reflected a fiercely independent character, determined to be noticed. When asked, “Who are your favourite painters and composers?”, she replied, “Myself.” However, the significance of her replies should be put into perspective. The atmosphere was probably more conducive to having fun than being serious.
Photo : © ADAGP, Paris, 2012