La Joueuse de flute or La Sirène, La Petite Sirène
Signed ‘C. Claudel’ and numbered 1 Stamped with the foundry mark EUG. BLOT PARIS
Conceived in 1903. This example was cast circa 1905.
This was a planned edition of 30, but this number was not realised. Five examples cast by the Eugène Blot foundry during Claudel's lifetime. Another lifetime cast exists of a variant version in which the rock has been replaced by a wooden socle.
Born in 1864 in northern France, Camille Claudel was a French sculptor who was not fully appreciated during her lifetime, but has since become world renowned for her unique figurative works in bronze and marble. Claudel now has her own museum, the Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine, and her works are considered integral to any serious collection of sculpture from this period. She is also widely known for her controversial, and ultimately tragic, love affair with Auguste Rodin, which has been highlighted by two films, Camille Claudel and Rodin, along with numerous books.
Claudel began sculpting from a young age, modelling her siblings out of clay before convincing the family cook to fire them in the oven. Her early work impressed their neighbour, sculptor Alfred Boucher, who encouraged Claudel’s family to support her artistic studies.
Moving to Paris in 1882, she began her formal studies at the Académie Colarossi, as it was one of the few institutions allowing female students at the time. Claudel was only 17 when she met Auguste Rodin at the Académie Colarossi in 1883, when the sculptor took over teaching classes from Alfred Boucher. Claudel’s work impressed Rodin immediately and she became his studio assistant two years later.