Claudel’s most moving statue: L’Age Mur
The Musee D’Orsay in Paris is probably my favorite museum in the world. And this is probably the most moving and revealing statue I have ever seen.
Other translations of the name into English include: “The Age Wall” “The Mature Age” “The Destiny” “The Way of Life” and “The Fate.” All translations seem appropriate.
It is honestly and totally naked in form and psychology. It is the most honest and truly tragic statue I have ever seen. Claudel is worth studying, and I hope you take time to learn her story on your own. A tremendously talented artist, she worked with, learned from, was an equal to, and fell in love with, Rodin. Claudel was rejected by Rodin, and was eventually committed to a mental institution, and it was there where she eventually died in 1943. It is interesting to note that Rodin has a floor of his Rodin Museum in Paris that is dedicated to her statues and art.
According to a Wikipedia article I downloaded 2/15/15 “This work reflects Claudel’s abandonment by Rodin : She implores him kneeling while he prefers coming back to Rose, his wife. Claudel explained this symbolism in some letters to her brother Paul Claudel, then consul in New York. This work is thus deemed as autobiographical.”
It is so moving.
Camille, on her knees, off balance leaning forward, pleading, naked arms outstretched to Rodin.
Rodin, with one arm reaching back,
hand so close, yet hand not quite touching her pleading hands,
As old Rose, his long time companion and wife, pulls Rodin away from Claudel.
Below I have provided 3 versions from one photo. One is the original photo I took of the statue at the Musee D’Orsay, the second is where I, using Photoshop, removed everything but the statue leaving a white background. And the third is where I made the background range from red to green for dramatic effect. Enjoy whichever one brings out the beauty most for you!
It is truly a great statue by a great artist expressing unbelievable loss with brutal naked honesty.
Click on any of the images to see a larger version on a computer.