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Vertumnus and Pomona
Camille Claudel (1864 -1943)
White marble on red marble base
H. 91 cm ; W. 80.6 cm ; D. 41.8 cm
Signed on the back of the base: Camille Claudel.
Entitled: Vertumnus and Pomon.
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This sculpture was executed in various media and was given various titles. Inspired by an Indian play about Sakuntala’s reunion with her husband after a long separation caused by a magic spell, the work was first modelled in plaster circa 1886. After repeated requests for a state commission and Claudel’s crushed hopes, the work was finally carved in marble thanks to the Comtesse de Maigret in 1905. At his point, it was entitled Vertumnus and Pomona.
The bronze, cast by Eugène Blot, was shown the same year at the Salon d’Automne under the title Abandon. The subject thus moved from Hindu to Greek mythology, then onto psychology or personal history.
The variations between the different versions bear witness to the investigations pursued by the artist. The change of title, combined with the change of medium, attest to this variety of interpretations and meanings which also formed part of her research.
Photo : © ADAGP, Paris, 2012