Lot 4
  • 4

CAMILLE CLAUDEL Buste de Charles Lhermitte

Estimate
400,000 - 600,000 GBP
Sold
1,030,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Camille Claudel
  • Buste de Charles Lhermitte
  • inscribed C. Claudel and with the foundry mark Gruet. Ainé Fondeur, Paris
  • bronze

Provenance

Léon Lhermitte, Aisne, France (the father of the sitter; acquired from the artist)

Thence by descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Paris, Palais des Champs-Elysées, Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1889, no. 4189

Paris, Musée Rodin, Camille Claudel, 1951, no. 14

Paris, Musée Rodin & Poitiers, Musée Sainte-Croix, Camille Claudel, 1984, no. 13, illustrated in the catalogue

Bern, Kunstmuseum, Camille Claudel - Auguste Rodin, 1985, no. 38, illustrated in the catalogue

Tokyo, Tokyu Gallery of Art; Sapporo, Tokyu Gallery of Art; Kurume, Ishibashi Museum of Art; Yokohama, Sogo Museum of Art; Osaka, Daimaru Gallery of Art & Washington, D.C., National Museum of Women in the Arts, Camille Claudel, 1987-88, no. 14, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Camille Claudel, 1990-91, no. 35, illustrated in the catalogue

Paris, Musée Rodin, Camille Claudel, 1991, no. 35, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Maurice Hamel, 'Le Salon de 1889', in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1889, vol. 2, mentioned p. 26

Paul Leroi, 'Salon de 1889: la sculpture', in L'Art, vol. XLVI, 1889, mentioned p. 262

'Les Femmes et les féministes', in Revue encyclopédique, no. 169, 28th November 1896, p. 854

Anne Delbée, Une femme, Paris, 1982, mentioned p. 235

Anne Pingeot, 'Le chef-d'œuvre de Camille Claudel: L'Age mûr', in La revue du Louvre et des Musées de France, no. 4, 1982, mentioned p. 294

Anne Rivière, L'Interdite, Camille Claudel, Paris, 1983, no. 14, listed p. 74

Reine-Marie Paris, Camille Claudel, Paris, 1984, no. 359, illustrated p. 255

Jacques Cassar, Dossier Camille Claudel, Paris, 1987, mentioned p. 78

Reine-Marie Paris, Camille: The Life of Camille Claudel, Rodin's Muse and Mistress, London, 1988, no. 73, illustrated p. 116

Reine-Marie Paris & Arnaud de La Chapelle, L'œuvre de Camille Claudel, catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1990, no. 25, illustrated in colour p. 124

Philippe Dagen, 'Le Camille Claudel inconnu', in Le Monde, 15th-16th December 1991, the other cast illustrated p. 19

'Au Musée Ingres. Le Retour de L'Enfant prodigue', in Regards, no. 15, 15th January 1992, the other cast illustrated p. 3 and on the cover

Florence Viguier, 'A propos d'un bronze de Camille Claudel récemment redécouvert à Montauban', in Bulletin special des amis du Musée Ingres, Lourdes, 1994, the other cast illustrated pp. 88-93

Gérard Bouté, Camille Claudel. Le miroir et la nuit, Paris, 1995, detail illustrated in colour p. 27

Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon, Danielle Ghanassia, Camille Claudel, catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1996, no. 30.2.a, illustrated p. 82

Reine-Marie Paris, Camille Claudel re-trouvée: Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2000, no. 26, illustrated p. 273

Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon, Danielle Ghanassia, Camille Claudel, catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2001, no. 30.2.a, illustrated p. 105

Reine-Marie Paris, Camille Claudel re-trouvée: Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2004, no. 26, illustrated p. 273

1914-1918, Voix d’écrivains et d’artistes: Paul Claudel, Paul Landowski, Charles Lhermitte (exhibition catalogue), Le Silo, Château-Thierry, 2014, the other cast illustrated and this cast mentioned pp. 59 & 60; this cast mentioned in a letter from Léon Lhermitte to Auguste Rodin p. 62

Reine-Marie Paris & Philippe Cressent, Camille Claudel: Intégrale des œuvres (Complete Work), Paris, 2014, no. 113, the other cast illustrated p. 252

Catalogue Note

The sitter of the present portrait, Charles Lhermitte, was the youngest son of the French painter Léon Lhermitte. Situated in the region of Aisne in northern France, Léon Lhermitte was a friend and neighbour of Auguste Rodin, and possibly played a role in introducing him to Camille Claudel. Lhermitte admired both drawings and sculpture by the young artist, and in April 1889 wrote a letter to Rodin inviting him to see Claudel’s bust of his son Charles that had just been finished, and asking for Rodin’s advice on how the work should be patinated. By end of the month the work was evidently completed, as Claudel entered it at the Salon exhibition that opened on 1st May the same year.

 

At the occasion of this exhibition, the critic Maurice Hamel wrote about the present work: ‘A head of a little boy, by Camille Claudel, has the most exquisite delicacy, a tender charm, a breath of childish naivety. The nature here is truthfully captured, interpreted with love’ (M. Hamel, quoted in 1914-1918, Voix d’écrivains et d’artistes: Paul Claudel, Paul Landowski, Charles Lhermitte (exhibition catalogue), Le Silo, Château-Thierry, 2014, p. 60, translated from French). Around the same time another French critic and an ardent supporter of the sculptress, Paul Leroi, wrote: ‘Mlle Camille Claudel has reproduced in bronze the features of Charles Lhermitte, son of the painter, adorning it with all the seductiveness of childhood, in a manner so particular of the young artist’ (ibid., p. 60).

 

This work was executed when Charles Lhermitte (1881-1945) was eight years old. He would later become a chemist and a talented amateur photographer. Active as a photographer in the early decades of the twentieth century, he was influenced by the naturalist style of his father and focused on recording rural scenes and the everyday life of villagers, as well as portraits and nudes.

 

In 1891 a second cast of Buste de Charles Lhermitte was executed for Baron Alphonse Rothschild, who two years later gifted it to Musée Ingres at Montauban. The present cast has remained in the sitter’s family to the present day.

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