Saturday, December 31, 2011

Camille Claudel

I just watched Camille Claudel, the 1988 movie starring Isabelle Adjani in the title role. Besides the sometimes horrendous (read : over-dramatic) soundtrack, I enjoyed the portrayal of the artist. And was touched by Claudel's genius, and her tragic story. The long fought struggle of women artists to exist in their own right, not as merely other (male) artists' muses. And the hardship that comes from not having what most of those men had : support and care in the form of female companionship and inspiration. As a woman you have to be the artist, the muse and the caretaker all at once. And what was her brother Paul thinking? she introduced him to the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, and all he found to do to repay her was to keep her interned for 30 years - even though the medical personnel recommended she be released. Maybe he felt threatened...we yet have to see the day when most men are not, by strong women. I find her willfulness and dedication so inspiring, and her art beyond moving. I loved when Blot (the gallery owner) says about it : "...puisqu'il m'arrache les entrailles, moi" ('since it tears my heart out'). I guess next time I'm in Paris a trip to the Musée Rodin will be in order - not to see his works (although I will too) but to visit the room dedicated to her.

 la vague

Camille Claudel in 1884, at 19

la valse

vertumne et pomone

la petite châtelaine

les causeuses

...and Rodin's arrogance:

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