• 19 Jan 2018

On November 27th, 2017 a historic auction sale took place at Artcurial in Paris. Among the lots available there were 20 Artworks and sculptures of Artist Camille Claudel. The French government used its preemption right to buy 12 of the Artworks and therefore enrich the public collections. What does this historic auction tell us?

This picture represents Artist Camille Claudel in 1884.

Camille Claudel 1884

An outcome that went beyond all expectations

The auction sale was a great success marked by a very diverse buyer’s panel. Effectively, both museums and private collectors honored Camille Claudel with significant purchases. In fact, the Camille Claudel museum, which opened in March 2017 at Nogent-sur-Seine, bought 4 Artworks including a pastel portrait of Louise Claudel, Camille Claudel’s sister. Sold for 33 800€, this Artwork done in 1887 is the most expensive Camille Claudel’s pastel Artwork ever sold. The total sale volume reached a pick of 3 600 000€ which is three times the expected amount. The bronze sculpture entitled “L’Abandon”, dated from 1886 was bought for 1 187 000€ by an international collector. Twelve of the Artworks entered the public collections of French museums.

The upcoming exhibitions of the sold Artworks

From January 9th to February 11th, 2018, the Artwoks sold to the French museums are displayed as part of the exhibition “Camille Claudel: A Treasure Legacy” at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. In fact, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Camille Claudel in Nogent-sur-Seine, the Piscine-Musée d’art et d’industrie André Diligent in Roubaix, the musée Sainte-Croix in Poitiers and the Maison Camille et Paul Claudel in Villeneuve-sur-Fère coordinate their effort, with the support of the French government to obtain and exhibit the Artworks. At the end of the exhibition, the Artworks will be returned to their collections. Nevertheless the portrait of Louise Claudel will not be displayed. It is an initiative which aims at emphasizing a leading Artists so far often presented in the shadow of Auguste Rodin.

This photograph by Pierre André represents Camille Claudel's sculpture entitled Sakountala and created in 1905.

Sakountala, called Vertumne and Pomone, 1905 by Camille Claudel © Pierre André

Camille Claudel, an exceptional sculptor in the shadow of Auguste Rodin

It was only after the 70s that the international Fine Arts market gave attention to Camille Claudel, assistant to Auguste Rodin in 1884. Despite her exceptional artistic work, the Artist was often presented only as both the muse and the lover of the sculptor. The exact nature of their relationship as well as Camille Claudel’s role in the studio remain uncertain. However, it is proven that Camille Claudel spent most of her time on the trickiest details of the sculptures: feet and hands as explained by the Rodin museum on its website. In 1913, Camille Claudel was checked in an asylum at Vielle-Evrad close to Avignon and stayed there until she died in 1943. In spite of her tragic destiny, Camille Claudel remains a unique Artist too often cast aside. Several other women Artists still are in the shadow of history which often does not do them justice. Art-Trope was created by a woman Artist for worldwide Artists to support them on the long term and make sure they get the recognition they deserve.

This image from the Rodin Museum in Paris shows Camille Claudel's 1905 scultpure entitled Shakuntala.

Sakountala, called Vertumne a,d Pomone, 1905 by Camille Claudel © Rodin Museum, Paris


Read out article about Art-Trope Artist and photographer Florence Cardenti here.

Sources: Artcurial and The Art Newspaper