Camille Claudel, la Valse
Sunday, June 11th 2017, 14:30
Sand cast executed during the artist’s lifetime, circa 1900
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Camille Claudel(Fère-en-Tardenois, 1864 - Montdevergues, 1943)
La Valse, 1889-1905
Bronze proof with brown-black patina
Sand cast executed during the artist’s lifetime, circa 1900
Signed on the base: “Camille Claudel”
H. 46,7; W. 25,5; D. 16,8 cm
The work is sold with an autographed letter signed by Camille Claudel, addressed to Mr Allioli, first owner of the sculpture.
The proof of La Valse presented here will feature in the forthcoming Catalogue raisonné by Reine-Marie Paris and Philippe Cressent to be published by Culture Economica in 2017.
Acquired from the artist (gift or sale) by Joseph Honoré Allioli (1854-1911).
France, private collection.
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An iconic work in Camille Claudel’s creation, La Valse is one of her most widely known sculptures, appearing in different sizes, in different materials and with variants. Nevertheless, the full extent of these versions is not fully known yet by specialists as by the wider public. The bronze proof presented here, recently rediscovered, had been sleeping in a cupboard for many years. An unprecedented variant of the famous model, it stirs curiosity by the quality of its provenance and its uniqueness.
I. The genesis and the commercialization of La Valse
From Les Valseurs to La Valse (1889-1893)
The long creation process preceding La Valse extends from the first months of 1889, moment when Camille Claudel first mentions her work on this group, to December 1892, when she presents her work for the second time in her workshop to the inspector of the ministry of Fine Arts. Work on the group begins in the very first months of the year 1889, according to a letter written by Camille Claudel to her friend Florence Jeans (1) dated 24th of February: “I am also working on a group of waltzers which isn’t finished yet”(2). The general tone of the letter reveals her bulimic attitude to work and her impatience to make progress on the sculpture.
But during this period, her activity in Rodin’s workshop slows down her personal work, as evidenced by two other letters, one addressed to Leon Gauchez (3) (1890); the other to Madame Lhermitte (4) (1891). In the latter, the artist clearly expresses her frustration: “I am still working a lot in the workshops of Mr Rodin, Victor Hugo, Balzac, Claude Lorrain; I am very busy as you may well understand. I have been told I was making progress, which is a consolation for not working for myself”.
Shortly afterwards, in February 1892, Camille Claudel considers her sculpture is finished, and wishes to receive a state commission for a marble version: “I have lately finished a small, half life-size group entitled Les Valseurs which has been admired by several artists, including Monsieur Rodin. It is of this group, Monsieur le Ministre, that I would be pleased to obtain a commission for a marble sculpture, if you were so inclined” (5).
In response to her request, the inspector Armand Dayot (6) is instructed to come and examine the work in her workshop. His visit takes place at the beginning of the year 1892. Struck by the beauty of the work, he nevertheless mentions in his report that it is necessary for the artist to cover the nudity of the couple before the administration for Fine Arts can give its approval for the commission: “I thus thought it was wise to ask Mlle Claudel to dress her figures”(7).
The artist complies with this requirement (8) and reworks her sculpture during the summer, most probably at the castle of Islette, in Touraine. This retouched work is, according to all likelihood, the version called "with veils”, which she presents to Armand Dayot in the month of December (9). The latter, very impressed by the work, expresses his perfect understanding of it in his second report: “Over the last six months, Mlle Claudel, with truly heroic persistence, has sought to improve or rather to reveal the remarkable plastic qualities of her subject by a colour more frankly symbolic and I must admit that her conscientious efforts and difficult research have been crowned with success. The group which was initially entitled Les Valseurs is today called La Valse and this mere change of title is an indication that the work had gained in nobility, as if purified by a more allegorical interpretation. It is no longer two vulgar, heavily coupled nude dancers but a gracious embrace of superb forms balanced in a harmonious rhythm in the midst of turning, enveloping drapery. Ah! These draperies are quite frail…. Mlle Claudel wished to sacrifice the least nudity possible and she was right. But they nevertheless suffice to veil some too realistic and visible details and to indicate at the same time the character of the subject. This light scarf which sticks to the sides of the woman, leaving the torso naked, an admirable torso turned graciously as if to avoid a kiss, ends in a sort of shivering train. It is like a torn sheath from which suddenly emerges a winged thing! This group, already so beautiful and of such seizing originality, of such powerful execution, much deserves to be transcribed in marble. Mlle Claudel is a very talented artist”. (10)
An order for the commission is immediately drafted, but it will not obtain the signature of the director for Fine Arts Henri Roujon, who considers that the group still lacks decency (11). Camille Claudel therefore cannot work on the dreamt marble sculpture of La Valse.
The official and unofficial circulation of La Valse (1893-1905)
Nevertheless, the first presentation to the public of La Valse takes place in Spring 1893 at the Salon de la Nationale in Paris: it is the plaster model of the version “with veils”, a work whose location is today unknown. The following year, the bronze proof (12) cast by Siot-Decauville from as early as August 1893, still in its version called “with veils” is shown at the Salon de la Libre Esthétique in Brussels. On the occasion of these two presentations, the work was received with extremely positive and highly favorable words by critics. Among these, the famous Emile Verhaeren (13), Gabriel Mourey (14), Frantz Jourdain (15), Gustave Geffroy or Octave Mirabeau all commented the work. However, the proof cast by Siot-Decauville will stay unique for lack of buyers, and it is still in the foundry shop in 1902. It is thus not surprising that the art-dealer and bronze edition castmaker Eugène Blot (18) was able to buy the edition rights on the model from Siot-Decauville (19). Thus, from 1905, he puts up for sale a new version of La Valse where the veil forming a halo around the heads is removed. Camille has, of course, reworked her model for this new edition which comes in two sizes: 46,4 cm for the tallest; 23,5 cm for the smallest.
The Blot editions will be quite successful: 24 proofs are edited of the tallest version of La Valse (the cast allowing for a maximum of 50 proofs) and 4 proofs are edited of the smallest version (the cast allowing for a maximum of 25 proofs) (20).
Having assigned her rights on the model from 1893, Camille Claudel nevertheless wished to benefit in some way of her creation, especially since Siot-Decauville was not able to make a commercial success of it. This is why “it is not impossible that a few “illicit” casts (…) were made without Siot-Decauville knowing about them, in the 1890’s” (21). Three of these casts have been identified:
-Paul Claudel’s one, sand cast by Alexis Rudier (22) which has stayed in private hands (23);
- the bronze proof with no foundry mark which was once in the collection of Joanny Peytel (21), and which was acquired by the Rodin museum in 1963;
- the one presented here.
Next to these different bronze editions, for which Camille assigned her rights, the model of La Valse is reproduced in plaster and in sandstone once again without the veil in the upper parts. It is possible that she was seeking to be discrete for this production. In any case, she executes a specific work for each plaster, and thus constitutes a series of unique works. In this way, she certainly protects herself from any possible reproaches concerning the use of the sold model. Nevertheless, in her great article of 1898 published in Le Mercure de France (26), her first biographer, Mathias Morhardt mentions these plasters; he counts a dozen casts all retouched in the plaster and the patina by Mlle Claudel”. Among these plasters, the following are known:
- The two kept at the Camille Claudel museum at Nogent-sur-Seine (Inv.2010.1.8 and Inv.2010.1.9);
- The polychrome signed plaster acquired by the Romanian collector Alexander Slatineanu between 1898 and 1902, and today kept in a French private collection;
- Or that given to the critic Geffroy by Camille Claudel herself in February 1905.
Lastly, there exists a sandstone sculpture of La Valse which bears the edition mark of Emile Muller: it is today kept in the collections of the Camille Claudel museum at Nogent-sur-Seine (1895, H.41,5 cm, Inv.2010.1.11).
II. The rediscovery of a masterpiece
A well-documented history
Since the appearance of La Valse at the beginning of the month of April this year, its history has been reconstituted thanks to exceptional documents in particular an autographed letter signed by the artist and an ancient photograph of La Valse in the property of its first owner, Joseph Allioli (1854-1911). Head of a decorating company, living in Paris and later in the close suburbs until the turn of the century, Joseph Allioli then settled at Bethisy-Saint-Pierre (Oise), where he had a house built on the heights of the commune.
The land he had acquired for his construction included the remains of the tower of a medieval castle, remains which gave their name to the house: “Propriété de la Tour”. Indeed, the house is strongly marked by a neo-gothic style, as can be seen on exterior photographs of the house, printed on postcards, or interior views.
Among these photographs, the most moving one represents a living-room whose chimneypiece is surmounted by a relief framed by two sculptures; on the right, the Nymphe Chasseresse (1888) by Alexandre Falguière (1831-1900); on the left, La Valse by Camille Claudel, standing on a small column.
Joseph Allioli must certainly have met a number of artists through his decorating company and developed friendships with some of them, including Camille Claudel. This is evidenced by a letter sent to him by the artist: “Sir, I will probably not return to Paris before Saturday 10th of November; if you care to see me, please kindly postpone your visit until this date. Yours sincerely, Mle Camille Claudel, Villeneuve-sur-Fère, Aisne” (27).
Another document reveals the links between Allioli and Rodin: it is an invoice detailing the works completed, dating from 1901 and kept in the archives of the Rodin museum (28). It includes the following letterhead: “Allioli and Sons, Painting, Decorating, Glazing and Staining Company” and is addressed to Monsieur Rodin “under the direction of Monsieur Sortrais, architect”. Louis Sortais (1860-1911), architect of the Alma Pavilion for Rodin at the Universal Exhibition of 1900, later responsible for the transfer of the building to Meudon, is a member of Joanny Peytel’s family.
If the relationship between Joseph Allioli and other artists has yet to be studied, his fondness for the arts is, however, obvious and constant: in 1893, he donates to the Decorative Arts museum a wall-paper representing Bacchus and Ariane attributed to François Desportes; in 1899, he is invited to join Paris’s History Society; in 1907, he becomes a member of the French Archaeological Society; and in 1909, he is one of the founders of the popular Fine Arts Society.
Having also donated different objects to the Senlis library, he may also have known and frequently seen one of Camille Claudel’s last commissioners between 1889 and 1905-06, the countess Arthur de Maigret (30), whose property was in the same town, located some twenty kilometers from Béthisy-Saint-Pierre. She hosted the artist in this residence, as evidenced by the dedication on her portrait (31): “Souvenir from Senlis, 1903”. The countess Arthur de Maigret is the commissioner of Camille’s great marble Persée (32) and of her Vertume et Pomone (33), marble version of her Sakountala.
It is possible that Camille Claudel gave La Valse to Joseph Allioli as a gift, to thank him for his help or support, as she often did. But it is also possible that Allioli bought the sculpture from her, wishing to support the sometimes impecunious artist. On the basis of current knowledge, what can be ascertained is that La Valse becomes the property of Allioli at an unknown date between 1893, date when Camille Claudel finishes the work, and 1905, date when Blot becomes the editor of La Valse. Indeed, even if the artist herself produced casts of her model when it was in the hands of Siot-Decauville, it seems difficult to imagine that this practice continued once the model was under the responsibility of Blot, who successfully contributed to the circulation of her work. Lastly, considering the professional relationship between Rodin and Allioli, it seems likely that Camille Claudel met Allioli at the precise moment when he was working for Rodin on the Alma Pavillion, in 1900-1901.
An original version of La Valse
The rediscovered proof of La Valse, with its brown-black patina, is a sand cast with precise imprint, with thick and regular edges (34). It bears a large signature “Camille Claudel”, chiseled after the casting, which is in many ways similar to the one on the proof of La Valse kept at the Rodin museum (35). Yet the founder remains unknown and no indication allows to put a name forward (36). Camille Claudel having assigned her rights on the sculpture, she had to remain discrete in her exploitation of the model. This surely explains why no foundry inscription appears, but it also explains why she multiplies the variants of her work as evidenced in the numerous plasters (37) as in the rare bronzes which she produces herself…
For these variants, Camille changes a quantity of details: the hands, the feet, the distance and positioning between the man and the woman, the shape of the base of the group. She most likely works on the man and the woman separately and then assembles them. She then has all the latitude to create different bases, depending on the development of the train of the dress for example.
An attentive observation of the original version presented here seems to indicate that it has been executed by the artist at the turn of the century. The modelling of the faces and the hands with flattened fingers is energetic, almost brutal, and the little finger of the female dancer does not stretch out as in other versions. The fingers of this figure recall those of L’Âge Mur (1898-1900) and La Valse at the Rodin museum (after 1893). Her nervous modelling is very different to the one in the Blot version which is much smoother: it is, once again, closer to the modelling of La Valse at the Rodin museum.
The base, lastly, differs from other known versions (38): it already has the Japanese-like audacity which characterizes the Blot casts. Camille Claudel is very familiar with Japanese art for which she nourishes a real fascination since childhood (39). The base of our Valse is similar to the one on the proof at the Rodin museum in the lengthening of the dancer’s train which serves as a support and counterweight point (40). It is also comparable to the bases of the small Persée (41) (1903) in marble, and of its bronze version (1905) by Blot. In the end, the variant with which our Valse bears most resemblance is the one kept at the Rodin museum.
III. La Valse, a perfect Claudelian work?
With and without Rodin
La Valse is a typical example of a work created by Camille Claudel “with and without Rodin”, in this contradictory movement which attracts him to her, rejecting him at the same time.
“With Rodin” because he stimulates Camille Claudel’s creative process, by entrusting her with a number of feet and hands of his works, for example. Furthermore, La Valse is admired by the Master, as boasted by Camille Claudel in the letter (42) she addresses to the minister pleading for a commission. And when Armand Dayot asks Camille Claudel to cover the nudity of her couple, Rodin writes immediately to the inspector to defend the artists’ choice: “Mlle Claudel asks to keep the nude and in this case let her have her way because it is a good work, and if she says she does not want drapery then she will not do it properly” (43).
Above all, the work is understood as an allegory of the union between Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel. Her brother Paul Claudel does not hesitate to say so in his text of 1951: “the female dancer – the one who hears the music, it is her! – beneath the male dancer who has gripped her and who carries her away in a feverish swirl” (44). This opinion is shared by Bruno Gaudichon: “To place veils on a couple of nude dancers is to escape from a stylistic comparison with Rodin and to dissimulate what was a total harmony. The group will nevertheless always appear as a self-portrait of the artists as a couple” (45).
Lastly, the male dancer of La Valse is reminiscent of one of the female figures of the Three Virtues (46), plaster sculpture by Rodin whose exact date of creation remains unknown. The position of the bodies, in particular the legs and the left arm are in every way identical in both works (47).”
Nevertheless, La Valse is also a work where Camille Claudel is “without Rodin”, or even against him… Indeed, she complains that progress on her own work is slowed down because of her obligations in the Master’s workshop.
Above all, La Valse radically transforms an intimate and autobiographical story into an allegory, that of the couple, and captures the force of attraction uniting the figures. Camille Claudel is able to translate the fever of this force, but also its fragile and ephemeral character. What is more, her style is truly different from that of the Master, more interested in what it expresses than in its proper writing (48).
In La Valse, the artist reveals two major characteristics of her art: the expressivity pushed to its paroxysm, where the intensity of each detail balances the power of the whole, and the staging of a drama which is unfolding, as in Rêve au coin du feu (49) or in La Vague (50).
La Valse in the wake of Art Nouveau
In the painting by Frédérique Vallet-Bisson (1862-1948), Entre Artistes (51), presented at the Salon of 1896, La Valse appears like a true Art Nouveau object, set on a piano in a bourgeois interior. Its strange character corresponds to the aesthetics of this movement in which organic forms proliferate, as in the works of its leader Hector Guimard. La Valse is perfectly in tune with this stylistic movement by the expressive deformation of the drapery and the unbalanced composition. Camille Claudel holds the secret of this troubled and worried matter of which the draperies are made and which devour the space of La Valse. This indefinable matter is also present in La Vague or in Clotho (52). As for the disequilibrium close to breaking point which is present in the composition, it creates a “suspended moment” which she is fond of, and of which she suggests variants in La Vague or in La Fortune (53). But it is nowhere as powerful as in La Valse where the virtuosic composition, poignant from every angle, carries away the figures in a swirl on the brink of the abyss.
La Valse, by its complex history and its fully accomplished aesthetics, allows Camille Claudel to “rank amongst the greatest of her contemporaries” (54) as underlined by Antoinette Le Normand-Romain in a study dedicated to La Valse in 2005. As for Bruno Gaudichon, in a complete article on the work dated 2014, he insists on the fact that “Camille Claudel’s La Valse is evidently an exceptional work whose intensity reflects both the intimate and artistic life of the sculptress and the spirit of the time” (55).
This proof presents the characteristics of a sand cast: an interior with geometrical forms, resulting from the removal of a layer from the core; residual presence of red sand in the hollow of the base. Our Valse seems to have been cast in one piece, because no seam lines are apparent. However, only radiographs could reveal any piecing of the cast. By way of comparison, the great cast of Siot-Decauville in 1893 is a lost-wax cast in one piece, as mentioned by Siot-Decauville to Rodin on the 2nd of August 1893: “I would be glad to show you the result of the cast which has come in one piece” (56). The weight of our sculpture can be explained by the fact that the core has not been emptied, and the plaster from which the bronze was made remains unknown. The artist must have grooved some parts of the plaster, in particular the arms, to catch the light, and the bronze proof perfectly captures the fine detailing of this work. Some shorter and finer grooves can be observed, which cut deep into the bronze: these parts must have been rubbed with sandpaper.
- Camille Claudel (1864-1943), exhibition catalogue, Paris, Musée Rodin, 15 February – 11 June 1984 ; Poitiers, Musée Sainte-Croix, 26 June – 15 September 1984, RMN, 1984, n°74.
- Camille Claudel, exhibition catalogue, Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, 16 November 1990 – 24 February 1991 ; Paris, Musée Rodin, 12 March – 2 June 1991, Musée Rodin, 1991, n°40, 57, 58, 90, 91.
- Gérard Bouté, Camille Claudel, le miroir et la nuit, l’Amateur, 1995 (Blot cast n°5).
- Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon, Danielle Ghanassia, Camille Claudel, catalogue raisonné, 3rd revised edition, Adam Biro, 2001, n°33.
- Reine-Marie Paris, Camille Claudel re-trouvée, catalogue raisonné, new revised and completed edition, Éditions Aittouarès Paris, 2001, n°28, pp. 279- 300.
- Camille Claudel et Rodin, la rencontre de deux destins, exhibition catalogue, Québec, Musée national des Beaux-Arts du Québec, 26 May – 11 September 2005 ; Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, 2 October 2005 – 5 February 2006, Paris, Musée Rodin, 3 March – 15 June 2006, Hazan, 2005, n°64 à 67.
- Camille Claudel (1864-1943), exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Fundacion Mapfre, 7 November 2007 – 13 January 2008 ; Paris, Musée Rodin, 15 April 2008 – 20 July 2008, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, n°48 à 52.
- Marie-Victoire Nantet, Marie-Domitille Porcheron, Anne Rivière, Sur les traces de Camille et Paul Claudel. Archives et presse, Poussière d’Or, 2009.
- Les Papesses, Camille Claudel, Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Jana Sterbak, Berlinde de Bruyckere, exhibition catalogue, Avignon, Collection Lambert & Palais des Papes, 9th June – 11th November 2013 (Private collection, Paris).
- Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon, Camille Claudel, Correspondance, 3rd revised complete edition, Art et Artistes Gallimard, 2014.
- Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon, Camille Claudel, au miroir d’un art nouveau, exhibition catalogue, Roubaix, La Piscine – Musée d’art et d’industrie André-Diligent, 8 November 2014 – 8 February 2015, Gallimard, La Piscine - Roubaix, 2014.
- Reine-Marie Paris, Philippe Cressent, Camille Claudel lettres et correspondants, Culture Economica, 2015.
(1) « We do not know exactly how Camille Claudel met Florence Jeans. We know that the latter had a close relationship with Jessie Lipscomb who presented her to Camille, in Paris or in England », in Catalogue raisonné, 2001, p. 227.
(2) Letter from Camille Claudel to Florence Jeans (24th of February 1889), Paris, Archives of the Musée Rodin; Rivière-Gaudichon, 2014, n°49, pp. 70-71.
(3) Letter from Camille Claudel to Léon Gauchez (August 1890), Brussels, Royal library of Belgium ; Rivière-Gaudichon, 2014, n°55, pp. 77-78. See Ingrid Godderis, « Léon Gauchez (1825-1907), aide et confident de Camille Claudel », in Camille Claudel, au miroir d’un art nouveau, 2014, pp. 19-21.
(4) Letter from Camille Claudel to Madame Léon Lhermitte (1891), private collection; Rivière-Gaudichon, 2014, n°61, p. 82.
(5) Letter from Camille Claudel to the minister of Fine Arts (8th of February 1892), Paris, Archives nationales; Rivière-Gaudichon, 2014, n°63, pp. 83-86. Léon Bourgeois served as minister of Fine Arts from 17th of March 1890 to 6th of December 1892.
(6) Armand Dayot (1851-1934), then aged 41, was a critic and art historian who published regularly from 1884 until his death. In 1905, he founded the famous journal L’Art et les Artistes.
(7) Report of Armand Dayot (20th of March 1892); Paris, Archives nationales, F 21 4299.
(8) « Just like Rodin who always took into account any comments on his work, Camille followed Armand Dayot’s advice »: Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, « Camille, ma bien-aimée malgré tout », in Camille Claudel et Rodin, la rencontre de deux destins, 2005, p. 111.
(9) See Bruno Gaudichon, « Les gracieux enlacements de formes superbes balancées dans un rythme harmonieux », in Camille Claudel, au miroir d’un art nouveau, 2014, p. 69.
(10) Report of Armand Dayot (5th of January 1893); Paris, Archives nationales, F 21 4299.
(11) See Antoinette Le Normand Romain, « Camille, ma bien-aimée malgré tout », in Camille Claudel et Rodin, la rencontre de deux destins, 2005, p. 113.
(12) This work is today in a private collection. It was sold on the 19th of June 2013 by Sotheby’s London for the sum of 6.000.000 euros, fees included. It is the artists’ world record.
(13) Emile Verhaeren, « Le Salon de la Libre Esthétique. Les sculpteurs », L’Art moderne, 1st of April 1894.
(14) Gabriel Mourey, « Les Deux-Salons ; Au Champ-de Mars », L’Idée Libre, 10th of June 1893.
(15) Frantz Jourdain, « Le Salon du Champ-de-Mars », La Grande Bataille, 19th of May 1893.
(16) Gustave Geffroy, « Au Champ-de-Mars, La Sculpture », La Vie artistique, 1893.
(17) Octave Mirbeau « Ceux du Champ-de-Mars. La sculpture », Le Journal, 12th of May 1893.
(18) It is interesting to point out that the existence of a Blot foundry has not been proven until today. If Eugène Blot, fervent supporter of Camille and of her work ever since they met, was an excellent art-dealer and editor, he must have worked with one or more foundries for the casting process. See Elisabeth Lebon, Dictionnaire des fondeurs de bronze d’art France 1890-1950, Marjon éditions, 2003, pp. 121-123.
(19) See amongst others: Florence Rionnet, « Cession des modèles de Camille Claudel édités par Eugène Blot à Leblanc-Barbedienne », in Catalogue raisonné, 2001, pp. 365-366. The financial conditions of the transfer are detailed here.
(20) The Blot model is quite rare in public collections: a large size proof is kept in the collections of the Sainte-Croix museum in Poitiers (n°17, Inv.953-11-67), as well as in those of the Musée Camille Claudel at Nogent-sur-Seine (n°5, Inv.2010.1.10); a small size proof belongs to the Staatsgemäldesammlungen in Münich.
(21) 2014, Gaudichon, p. 70. The bronze proof of the ancient Paul Claudel collection is reproduced p. 79. The Alexis Rudier foundry is directed from 1874 to 1897 by Alexis Rudier, then from 1897 to 1952, by Eugène, who still signs Alexis Rudier. See: Elisabeth Lebon, Dictionnaire des fondeurs de bronze d’art France 1890-1950, Marjon éditions, 2003, pp. 219-223.
(23) H. 42 cm.
(24) Joanny Peytel (1844-1924) was the director of the Crédit algérien. Close to Rodin, he was a collector of his works. He was asked by the latter to provide a pension for Camille until 1913, date of her confinement. See: Paris – Cressent, 2015, pp. 465, 636, 665.
(25) La Valse, 1889-1905, bronze, A. Rudier?, after 1893, H. 43,2 cm, signed and titled: Camille Claudel / LA VALSE, without foundry mark, Paris, Musée Rodin (Inv. S.1013).
(26) This capital source is reproduced in its entirety in Camille Claudel, au miroir d’un art nouveau, 2014, pp. 236-245.
(27) This letter could have been written on Saturday 10th of November 1894, on Saturday 10th of November 1900, or on Saturday 10th of November 1906. By crossing the events of the lives of Joseph Allioli and of Camille Claudel, it is quite possible that it dates from the year 1900, since it is the moment when Allioli is working for Rodin on the Alma pavilion.
(28) Paris, Archives of the Musée Rodin. Base des scripteurs, ref. [ALL 134].
(29) Joseph Allioli took over his father’s decorating company.
(30) See Anne Rivière, « Un mécène: la comtesse de Maigret », in Camille Claudel et Rodin, la rencontre de deux destins, 2005, pp. 251-259.
(31) Portrait of the countess Arthur de Maigret, 1903, charcoal with chalk and pastel highlights on cream-coloured paper, signed and dedicated: « Souvenir de Senlis 1903 / C. Claudel », H. 53 ; L. 56 cm, Château Gonthier, municipal museum (Inv. N°95601).
(32) Persée et la Gorgone (circa 1897-1905), marble, title and signature on the base: « Persée et la Gorgone / Camille Claudel », H. 196 cm, Nogent-sur-Seine, Musée Camille Claudel (Inv. 2009.1)
(33) Vertumne et Pomone (1905), white marble on red marble pedestal, title on the front of the base: « VERTUMNE ET POMONE », H. 91 cm, Paris, Musée Rodin (Inv. S.1293).
(34) See the technical description of the work at the end of this notice.
(35) The signature of the Bust of Paul Claudel at the age of thirty-seven (1905-1913) is also close to our Valse. There exists six proofs of this bust cast by Paul Converset in 1912. One of them is kept at the Musée Rodin in Paris (Inv. S.1218).
(36) To ensure perfect discretion, Camille probably called upon a bronzesmith, and not an art founder. It is also possible to imagine that Joseph Allioli used one of his company foundries.
(37) The plasters «had undergone a number of modifications in comparison with the first model (removal of the drapery enveloping the heads of the dancers; several variants for the base; a slightly different assembling of the figures) to ensure that Siot-Decauville, as edition rights holder, could not protest”. (Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, « Camille, ma bien-aimée malgré tout », in Camille Claudel et Rodin, la rencontre de deux destins, 2005, p. 117). Camille Claudel proceeds in the same way for the production of unauthorized bronze casts.
(38) The base is compact in the Siot-Decauville cast, and rather cut-out and Japanese-like in the Blot casts, forming like a little bridge on which the couple swirls. In the proof cast by Alexis Rudier from the ancient Paul Claudel collection, the base is full as in the Siot-Decauville one, but it includes a great stretching of the dancers’ drapery. Lastly, in the proof at the Musée Rodin, the base seems to result from the interlocking of two separate elements: underneath, a little square constitutes the first base; above it, the Siot-Decauville form is repeated, but the extremity of the dress is stretched even further downward like a train.
(39) See: Emmanuelle Héran, « Camille Claudel entre japonisme et Art nouveau », in Camille Claudel, au miroir d’un art nouveau, 2014, pp. 117-121.
(40) In our Valse, the dress of the female dancer does not serve as a support.
(41) Persée et la Gorgone, 1897-1902, marble (practice of François Pompon, 1903), H. 52,3 cm, Paris, Musée Rodin (Inv. S.1015). This proof was once in the collection of Joanny Peytel.
(42) Letter from Camille Claudel to the minister of Fine Arts (8th of February 1892), Paris, Archives nationales; Rivière-Gaudichon, 2014, n°63, pp. 83-86.
(43) Letter from Auguste Rodin to Armand Dayot (21st of March 1892); Paris, Archives of the Musée Rodin, L. 944.
(44) Paul Claudel, « Ma sœur Camille », in Camille Claudel, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Musée Rodin, 1951, p. 5.
(45) Gaudichon, 2014, p. 68.
(46) Les Trois Vertus, before 1899, plaster, Paris, Musée Rodin (Inv. S.2807).
(47) Catalogue raisonné, 2001, p. 362. It is important to note that Camille Claudel uses the same male figure and the position (body and legs) for the Persée intended for the countess de Maigret.
(48) The proximity between the modelling of Camille Claudel and that of Rodin can still lead to attribution problems for small heads, hands, or isolated limbs.
(49) Rêve au coin du feu (1899-1905), white marble (after 1900?) figure on a chair, signed: « C. Claudel », H. 26 cm, Draguignan, municipal museum.
(50) La Vague or Les Baigneuses (1897-1903), onyx and bronze on marble pedestal (1903), without foundry stamp, H. 62 cm, Paris, Musée Rodin (Inv. S.6659).
(51) The work of Frédérique Vallet-Bisson (1862-1948), Entre artistes, is known through an ancient reproduction kept in a private collection.
(52) Clotho, 1893, plaster, H. 89,9 cm, Paris, Musée Rodin (Inv. S.1379).
(53) La Fortune (after 1898-1904), bronze proof n°9, Blot sand cast (1905), H. 48 cm, Poitiers, Musée Sainte-Croix.
(54) Antoinette Le Normand-Romain, « Camille, ma bien-aimée malgré tout », in 2005, Camille Claudel et Rodin, la rencontre de deux destins, p. 117.
(55) Bruno Gaudichon, « Les gracieux enlacements de formes superbes balancées dans un rythme harmonieux », in Camille Claudel, au miroir d’un art nouveau, 2014, p. 67.
(56) Quoted by Paris, 2001, p. 282.
p.102: Camille Claudel sculpting the marble sculpture of Vertumne et Pomone in her workshop, towards 1903.
p. 103: Frédérique Vallet-Bisson (1862-1948), Entre artistes, ancient reproduction of the painting shown at the Salon of 1896, 27,8 x 34,4 cm, France, private collection.
p.105: Interior of the Propriété de la Tour, before 1911.