Lot 121
  • 121

Camille Claudel

300,000 - 400,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Camille Claudel
  • Inscribed C. Claudel, numbered 10 and with the foundry mark EUG BLOT PARIS
  • Bronze, dark brown patina
  • 24 1/2 by 20 3/4 by 9 1/4 in.
  • 62.2 by 52.6 by 23.5 cm


Private Collection, Illinois


Reine-Marie Paris, Camille Claudel, Paris, 1988, p. 245
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, and Danielle Ghanassia, Camille Claudel, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2001, no. 23-6, illutrations of other examples pp. 88-95

Catalogue Note

The present work, known in its final state as L’abandon, can trace its origin to the 1888 plaster by Claudel known as Sakountala. Based on the eponymous Indian legend of the 5th century in which the heroine loses the affection of her beloved prince, only to regain it once more, the plaster was awarded an honorable mention at the Salon that same year (fig. 2). In fact, Sakountala most likely inspired Rodin and his famous composition of the following year, L’Eternelle idole.

Sakountala was then to undergo two transformations. At the request of her patroness Countess Maigret, in 1905 Claudel re-worked Sakountala in marble. Thus the composition became known as Vertumne et Pomone, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. A bronze version in two sizes soon followed, assuming the title L’Abanodon, and cast by Eugène Blot. The present work is from the grande dimension, of which 18 examples were cast although twenty-five were initially planned.

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, as published Oeuvres en prose, Paris, 1965).

Fig.1 View of the back of the present work 

Fig. 2 Camille Claudel sculpting Sakountala