Camille Claudel (1864 -1943)
Letter from Camille Claudel to Auguste Rodin
1890 or 1891 (Summer) ?
Ink on paper
H. 17.5 ; W. 22 cm
At the height of Rodin and Camille Claudel’s relationship, there was a jealously guarded secret, a place where they used to meet whenever they visited Touraine: the Château de L’Islette. Situated just four kilometres from Azay-le-Rideau, they went there several times in 1890 and 1891. This was where they could enjoy being together and share the simple pleasures of everyday life. Protected by the castle towers, cut off from public life and official or social obligations, the two lovers savoured the time they spent peacefully in each other’s company.
And if Rodin was sometimes compelled to leave her, Claudel knew which arguments to use to draw him back, as is shown in this touching letter that speaks of the tenderest moments of this relationship.Several upstairs rooms of the château were reserved for them, some of which served as a studio. Camille Claudel modelled the bust of La Petite Châtelaine here, while Rodin turned the largest room into the backdrop for the long posing sessions that he inflicted upon a driver working at Azay-le-Rideau, who just happened to be Balzac’s double.
Photo : © ADAGP, Paris, 2012