Acquired at the above sale
Reine-Marie Paris and Arnaud de La Chapelle, L’Oeuvre de Camille Claudel, Catalogue raisonné, 1991, Paris, no. 63, illustration of another cast pp. 205-206
Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon & Danielle Ghanassia, Camille Claudel, catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2000, pp. 91-92
On the occasion of the Claudel retrospective held at the Musée Rodin in 1951, the artist’s brother Paul Claudel wrote of L’abandon, “The first is emotion, in a passionate embrace with imagination… If one compares Rodin’s The Kiss with the first work by my sister, which we may call Abandonment. In the former, the man has sat down at the woman’s table, so to speak. He has sat down to take best advantage of her. He has gone after her with both hands, and she does her best, as the Americans say, to deliver the goods. In my sister’s group, spirit is all, with the man kneeling, all desire, his face lifted; he yearns, embraced before he even dares seize that wondrous being, that sacred flesh that has fallen to him from a higher level. She gives in, blind, mute, heavy; she gives in to this weight that is love; one arm hangs, detached like a tree branch exhausted by its fruit; the other covers her breasts and protects that heart, the supreme sanctuary of virginity. It is impossible to see anything at once more passionate and more chaste. And how it all trembles, right down to the most secret frissons of the soul and the skin, with ineffable life! The second before contact.” (Paul Claudel, July 1951, Oeuvres en prose, Paris, 1965).
Conceived in terracotta in 1886, the present work was subsequently cast in plaster in 1887 and carved in marble in 1905. In 1905 Claudel also had two sizes cast in bronze; the present work is an example of the larger version of which 18 were cast between 1905 and 1937.
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