351
351

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Camille Claudel
LA VALSE (PETIT MODÈLE)
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 869,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
351

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Camille Claudel
LA VALSE (PETIT MODÈLE)
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 869,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Camille Claudel
1864 - 1943
LA VALSE (PETIT MODÈLE)
Inscribed C. Claudel, stamped with the foundry mark Eug. Blot Paris and numbered 2
Bronze
Height: 9 1/4 in.
23.5 cm
Conceived in 1895, this is the second of only four numbered casts made in 1905 in this size.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Danielle Ghanassia.

Provenance

Private Collection, Paris

Literature

Human Sculpture (exhibition catalogue), Galerie Dieleman, Brussels, 1989, n.n., illustration of another cast on the cover of the catalogue 
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1990, no. 84, illustration of another cast n.p.
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Musée Rodin, Paris, 1991, no. 91, illustration of another cast n.p.
Nicole Barbier, Camille Claudel, Paris, 1991, no. 91, p. 129, illustration of another cast p. 162
Reine-Marie Paris & Arnaud de La Chapelle, L’Oeuvre de Camille Claudel, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1991, no. 28, pp. 132-34
Adolf Schmoll gen. Eisenwerth, Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, Munich, 1994, pp. 64-67
Gauguin, les XX et la Libre Esthétique (exhibition catalogue), Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de la Ville de Liège, Liège,1994-1995, no. 72, illustration of another cast n.p.
Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon & Danielle Ghannasia, Camille Claudel, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1996, no. 32.8, p. 88
Auguste Rodin, Eros und Leidenschaft (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1997-98, no. 49, illustration of another cast n.p.
Auguste Rodin: Die Bürger von Calais, Werk und Wirkung (exhibition catalogue), Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl & Musée Royal de Mariemont, Mariemont, 1997-1998, illustration of another cast n.p.

Catalogue Note

La Valse, Claudel's dynamic rendering of a couple in movement, is considered among her best sculptures. Claudel moved to Paris in the early 1880s from her family's farm in northern France to pursue a career in the plastic arts. She was not even twenty years old when the sculptor Paul Dubois introduced her to Auguste Rodin and within a year she became an apprentice in his studio. Claudel and Rodin worked together for over a decade, during which time she flourished both as an indispensable figure in the Rodin studio and a virtuosic sculptor in her own right. Claudel not only produced unbelievably elegant and sensual masterpieces such as La Valse, she also contributed hands and feet (widely acknowledged to be the most demanding forms) to Rodin's most famous work The Gates of Hell, and there is even speculation that she was the true creator of Rodin's celebrated Galatée (Mathias Morhardt, "Mlle. Camille Claudel," Mercure de France, 1898, p. 17).

The rhythm of the waltz in which these figures are engaged can be felt in the tension of the bodies and the whirl of the drapery. In another version, today known as the first, the figures are enveloped by drapery which climbs up and around their heads. In a second version the drapery is modified, so that the figures are now nude from the waist up. Variations also ensued within this second series, where the base on which the figures dance was modified and the placement of the man and woman's heads vary. The present work incorporates several of Claudel's modifications, as here the man's lips rest tenderly against the woman's cheek, rather than against her neck as in other versions. The drapery is also more worked than in other versions, and serves as a support for the two figures enveloped in their delicate and passionate dance. It has been noted that the La Valse series represents Claudel's "most daring and personal works" and that in "these works, Camille Claudel displayed a completely autonomous genius and takes a place among the greatest artists of the turn of the century" (Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon & Danielle Ghanassia, op.cit., pp. 116-17).

Only four versions of this petit modèle were ever cast. One, with a gold patina, is in a private collection, another is held in the collection of the Munich Neue Pinakothek, and the location of the third is unknown. The appearance of the present cast at auction thus marks an important re-discovery of a work which has remained unseen in a private French collection for many years.

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