Camille Claudel and Rodin

The love castle of Camille Claudel and Rodin

Mettez vos pas dans ceux de Camille Claudel et Auguste Rodin. Ces deux grands sculpteurs, en effet, séjournèrent à l’Islette, à plusieurs reprises, au début des années 1890. Certes, ils y abritèrent leurs amours tumultueuses, loin de Paris, mais pas seulement. Ils y exercèrent aussi leur art et travaillèrent à certaines de leurs oeuvres les plus importantes et les plus célèbres.

En exposition permanente à l’Islette, admirez deux bronzes de Camille Claudel : La Petite Châtelaine and Les Causeuses.

« You cannot imagine how good it is to be at L'Islette ... and it is so pretty here!. … If you are nice, and keep your promise we will know what paradise is like. »

La Petite Châtelaine by Camille Claudel

A place of creation and a source of inspiration, it is where Camille Claudel sculpted one of her major works: La Petite Châtelaine, taking as a model the granddaughter of the castle's owners at the time.
Camille Claudel completed four versions of this bust, differing in their hairstyle.

"There is ... in the very disproportion of this too powerful, too life-like head, already much too open to the eternal mysteries and the delicately childish shoulders which it reveals, something undefinable which communicates a deep anguish ... The bust proves ... that Miss Camille Claudel is henceforth a master" (Mathias Morhardt). (Mathias Morhardt).

Le Balzac by Rodin

As for Rodin, he worked on his famous Balzac, whose statue was commissioned by the Société des Gens de Lettres in August 1891.

"Monsieur Rodin,
You have asked me .... to write with my opinion on your statue of Balzac: I find it very large and very beautiful and the best among all your designs for the same subject ... in conclusion, I believe that you should expect a great success especially with the real connoisseurs who will find no comparison between this statue and all those which, up to now, have decorated the city of Paris. " (Camille Claudel).

- Portrait of Rodin with a crew cut and lorgnettes by Nadar, around 1891 © Rodin Museum.
- Portrait of Camille Claudel by Cesar, around 1884 © Rodin Museum.
- Monument to Balzac S.1296, A. Rodin © Rodin Museum. (photo by Jean de Calan)