Located in Nogent-sur-Seine, the Camille Claudel Museum opens its doors to the public on March 26, unveiling the most important collection of the artist’s works.

A museum dedicated to an artist

Backed by the house where the Claudel family lived from 1876 to 1879, the Camille Claudel Museum presents the most important collection in the world of the artist’s works. This collection offers a complete vision of his art, since La Vieille Hélène, his first work exhibited at the Salon des artistes français in 1882, until the last bronzes published by Eugène Blot from 1905. The encounter with Auguste Rodin is evoked by the comparison of works of the two sculptors. Thus, The Eternal Spring and The Eternal Idol of Rodin, and Sakountala and The Abandonment of Claudel are reflections of two singular sensibilities on the theme of the entwined couple: one fiery and the other tender. The Squatting woman (1884-1885), one of the first sculptures of Camille Claudel, testifies to the inspiration drawn from the work of Auguste Rodin. Among the sculptures on display, the public will be able to discover in particular: The Middle Ages, evocation of the separation of Camille Claudel with Rodin and metaphor of the passing of time, the Waltz, the Abandonment, and Perseus and the Gorgon, a monumental work that concludes the journey.
Designed by architect Adelfo Scaranello, the museum, built on three levels, presents itself as an addition of different volumes offering large bay windows and using brick as a material associated with the coating that dresses the neighboring houses. In order to highlight the strength of the work of Camille Claudel, the museography is deliberately purified.

Camille Claudel, an early vocation

The young Camille Claudel arrived with her family in Nogent-sur-Seine in 1876 for 3 years. They settled in an 18th century house, now part of the museum. Camille Claudel was then 12 years old and modeled her first clay figurines. She shows promising dispositions for sculpture and receives the teaching and advice of Alfred Boucher, a sculptor who also lives in Nogent-sur-Seine and notices her early talent. In 1881, the Claudel family arrived in Paris and Camille rented a workshop the following year. Auguste Rodin then took over from Alfred Boucher, giving him teaching and advice. In 1884, she entered the master’s workshop as a practitioner and quickly became his collaborator, his mistress, his model and his muse. They share workshops and models and work in harmony. Rodin’s influence shines through in his personal work. This fused and tormented relationship marked the two artists forever and lasted until 1893.

The museum in figures

  • 250 works exhibited (including 200 sculptures, 67 loans and deposits, 43 sculptures by Camille Claudel, 37 facsimiles of photographs and prints, 11 paintings, 2 drawings)
  • 8 documentary films: 2 projection rooms and 5 screens integrated in the rooms; 10 expert words projected alternately in temporary exhibition room.
  • Building area: 2,645 m²
  • Permanent exhibition area: 983 m²
  • Temporary exhibition area: 300 m²