Lot 423
  • 423

CAMILLE CLAUDEL | L'Implorante, petit modèle

120,000 - 180,000 USD
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  • Camille Claudel
  • L'Implorante, petit modèle
  • Inscribed C. Claudel, numbered 49 and with the foundry mark Eug Blot Paris
  • Bronze
  • Height: 11 1/2 in.
  • 29.2 cm
  • Conceived in 1900; this example cast between 1900-05.


Private Collection, Japan (acquired circa 1990s)
Thence by descent to the present owner


Cécile Goldscheider, Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Musée Rodin, Paris, 1951, no. 26, illustration of another cast p. 15
Anne Delbée, Une femme, Paris, 1982, illustration of another cast n.p.
Anne Rivière, L’Interdite, Camille Claudel 1864-1943, Paris, 1983, no. 23, illustration of another cast p. 76
Camille Claudel (1864-1943) (exhibition catalogue), Musée Rodin, Paris & Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, 1984, no. 20b, illustrations of another cast pp. 56 & 57
Reine-Marie Paris, Camille Claudel, 1984, illustrations of another cast pp. 362 & 363
Camille Claudel-Auguste Rodin (exhibition catalogue), Kunstmuseum, Bern, 1985, no. 51, illustrated n.p.
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., 1988, no. 27, illustration of another cast p. 23
Reine-Marie Paris, Camille Claudel, Paris, 1988, illustration of another cast pp. 274 & 75
Camille Claudel 1864-1943 (exhibition catalogue), Galerie H. Odermatt-Ph. Cazeau, Paris, 1988-89, no. 3, illustration of another cast n.p. 
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1990-91, no. 69, illustration of another cast p. 107
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Musée Rodin, Paris, 1991, no. 73, illustration of another cast n.p. 
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Musée des Jacobins, Morlaix, 1993, illustration of another cast p. 52
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Cercle Municipal, Luxembourg, 1995, no. 36, illustration of another cast n.p. 
Gérard Bouté, Camille Claudel. Le Miroir et la nuit, Paris, 1995, illustrations of another cast pp. 146, 148 & 151 & 152
François Duret-Robert, "L’Affaire Claudel," in Connaissance des Arts, Paris, no. 523, 1995,  illustration of another cast p. 115
Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon & Danielle Ghanassia, Camille Claudel. Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1996, no. 43.6b, illustrations of another cast pp. 116 & 117
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 1997, p. 98, illustration of another cast p. 99
Camille Claudel (exhibition catalogue), Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paolo, 1997, no. 33, illustration of another cast p. 151
Anne Rivière, Bruno Gaudichon & Danielle Ghanassia, Camille Claudel, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 2001, no. 44.9, illustration of another cast p. 141


This work is in very good condition. Attractive gold brown patina. Some rubbing to the figure's bottom. Dirt in the deepest crevices. There is a thin crack around the proper left arm of the figure, which is a Roman joint and likely inherent to the casting process. Otherwise, fine.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Camille Claudel showed a precocious talent for sculpture—at an early age she would model figures out of clay, convincing her siblings to sit for her, and the family cook to fire the figures in the oven. Her father encouraged her talent and sought advice from Alfred Boucher, a native of Nogent-sur-Seine where the family was then based. The Claudel children moved with their mother to Paris in 1882, and Camille began her studies at the Académie Colarossi, as the École des Beaux-Arts did not yet admit women. During this time she also worked alongside other female sculptors in a studio at 117, rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. Alfred Boucher visited the studio every Friday to advise the students and correct their mistakes. In 1883 Boucher left Paris for an Italian tour and asked fellow sculptor Auguste Rodin to take over the classes. Claudel's work impressed the master and she joined his studio as a practicienne in 1885, becoming Rodin's muse, lover and collaborator. The two artists worked closely together, referencing each other's sculpture in an extraordinary period of symbiotic creativity. The romantic relationship began to disintegrate in 1890 when Rodin refused to break with his long-term mistress, Rose Beuret, with whom he had lived since 1864. Claudel exhibited no sculpture during the following two years, perhaps due to tensions in her personal life. Claudel's L'Implorante is a figure taken from her masterpiece L'Age mûr (see fig. 1). The group depicts a young female figure kneeling in entreaty in front of a male figure led away by an old woman. The autobiographical references are obvious. Claudel's brother Paul later described the "almost terrifying sincerity" of the group, identifying the kneeling figure as "My sister Camille. Imploring, humiliated, on her knees and naked." The extracted female figure was exhibited in 1894, before the entire group, in a variant of L'Implorante entitled Le Dieu envolé. Separated from the group setting, the figure encompasses themes of loss and desperation as part of the human condition.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Reine-Marie Paris.