A tragic story molded into bronze

  Here we are talking about a series of sculptures. Its original French name is “L’Age mAr”, which means “mature” or “when mature” and “over-ripe”. Such as the fruit on the tree, it will fall off and rot when it matures. Some people have translated it as “the feast must be scattered”, which seems to be imperfect, and temporarily translated as “love to break up”. In fact, it is a group of confessional sculptures, the author is Rodin’s lover, student, model and assistant Camille Claudel. It truly shows a tragic love between students and teachers. The story has to start with Camille.
  In 1864, Camille was born in a family of small officials in northeastern France. He began to study sculpture at the age of six or seven, showing his talent in this area. In 1881, she moved with her family to Paris, the art capital of the world at that time. Since there was no official art school for girls at that time, she had no choice but to study in a private studio. Two years later, she became Rodin’s student and then an assistant. Her talents and looks quickly caught Rodin’s attention. In some of the master’s famous sculptures expressing sex, Camille soon appeared as a model.
  In 1886, Camille’s British sister Lipscob, who was studying with him, went to London for a holiday. Rodin felt lost and restless, so he went to London immediately. Shooting arrows of love, but repeatedly received cold, and even closed doors. It’s not that the students are unsympathetic, that the 24-year age gap, and the presence of Rose Burley (Rodin’s old lover), can’t be a difficult emotional obstacle for a 22-year-old girl to overcome. But all these did not make Rodin flinch, but launched a more violent offensive. As the saying goes, sincerity can feel God. Rodin received a letter from Camille from London shortly after his return to Paris. The letter is not only gentle, but also full of sincere enthusiasm. At the end, he said half-jokingly with the teacher: “Please save all your happy things for me, affectionate hug, Camille.” In the new relationship, Rodin finally took the first step of success, which is also the beginning of a love triangle and the prelude to tragedy.
  Camille is not ignorant of the fact that Rodin has a lover and a son, and she has seen them many times, but she finally surrendered to Rodin’s genius, feeling good about herself, thinking that although Burley has the upper hand, she is a country woman after all, with a mediocre appearance. , The lack of common language with Rodin in career. After receiving Rodin’s swearing promise that “in the future, she will never interact with other women…”, Camille finally made up her mind and moved into Rodin’s studio despite her family’s objections, and lived together for 4 days a month. .
  From 1884 to 1887, Rodin was a productive period. As the master’s model, we see Camille’s slender figure in “The Gates of Hell” and “The Kiss”; as the master’s assistant, we see her leaving behind a knife in “The Righteous Men of Calais” trace. They created together and traveled abroad together. The so-called harmony of the piano and the selves makes their lives colorful. But as time went on, Rodin did not fulfill his promise and still had contacts with Bury, and Camille’s dissuasion was of no avail. Because in Rodin’s mind, Bo Lei is a woman worthy of protection, loyal and simple, and dedicates everything to him sincerely. For more than ten years, she is a trustworthy woman, while Camille is a splendid ray The sunshine is worth cherishing. Once it encounters a cloudy day, all this will cease to exist, and she has to control him, which is the last thing he wants. In the same way, Camille also deeply realized that Rodin valued career rather than her, and could not sacrifice everything to love her and sacrifice everything for her as she hoped. And there is Bo Lei’s existence, so they have constant contradictions in getting along, and finally separate painfully. Frustration, poverty, self-pity and loneliness finally sent the talented Camille to a mental hospital in 1913, and what awaited her was a 30-year lunatic life until her death in 1943.
  The title picture “Love Is Broken” is a plaster draft completed by Camille in 1894. At that time, the contradiction between the two had reached an intractable level, and the breakup was a foregone conclusion, and the group carving was just a glimmer of hope for the author. The middle-aged man in the middle represents Rodin (he was 54 at the time), and the old woman on the left alludes to Rose Burley. The young woman on the right kneeling on the ground is of course Camille herself. She is young, beautiful, graceful, and charming. He was kneeling on the ground as if begging, raised his head, and held Rodin’s hand tightly on his chest until he died. The old woman beside Rodin was already old and fading, with loose muscles, saggy breasts, and wrinkled face, like a wizard or a witch. She put her arms around Rodin’s waist, as if she was about to take him away, clenched her fists tightly in the other, turned around and scorned her love rival who was kneeling on the ground. The fist slammed hard on the young woman. Rodin also seemed to have fallen into her sorcery, groggy and unsteady on his feet. His hand, which was on the old woman’s shoulder, clung to the old woman’s arm, not knowing whether to keep his balance or to stop the rudeness of the old woman. Although his upper body was obviously inclined to the right, the head that turned to the left and the body that was about to turn around clearly showed his inner inclination. Tragedy is inevitable.
  Four years later, in the bronze group sculpture “Love is Broken” (below left), which was completed in 1898, the composition has been greatly changed. Burley is more like a witch. The shawl on her body was lifted high, her cheeks were pressed against the head of the captive, and her hands were clasping his arms, causing the two bodies to lean completely to the left. And Rodin finally dropped the beggar’s hands. The upward trend has been completed. Everything implies that Rodin has been completely conquered by the “Witch”. His relationship with Camille was completely irreversible. The triangular composition deepens the feeling of drifting away and the irreversible trend. The shape of the base is also unique, consisting of several different blocks, especially the rolled up corner, reminiscent of the clouds floating in the sky. The man who has been admired and loved for many years is about to be swept away by the “witch” in a blink of an eye. People go to the empty building and plead hard to no avail. All that is left is loss. This was Camille’s mood at that time, a painful and helpless confession.
  Like Rodin, Camille’s creation is very serious and responsible. In the creation of “Love is Broken”, he also conducted a long-term discussion on the image of the woman kneeling on the ground. The picture above on the right is one of them, which was turned into a bronze statue in 1894, called “God Flies Away”. This proposition fully reflects the image of Rodin in her mind. He is the God who controls his own destiny. To leave him is to lose the sunshine, and the rest can only be darkness. Therefore, she still held on to a glimmer of hope, knelt down and begged, looked up at the sky, and stretched out those weak hands, her heart ache as if her fingers were shaking. The sad face, frustrated eyes and slightly moving lips revealed the inner pain without reservation. The so-called deep love, pain cut. This situation is all moving. The long braids are wrapped around the woman’s shoulders and chest, giving people the feeling of being cocooned. Apparently, in her despair and frustration, she did not have the slightest idea of ​​blaming Rodin. This mentality is also fully expressed in some of Camille’s pencil compositions. In one of the pencil compositions we can see that Rodin is imprisoned in a small room with his hands and feet chained. He had struggled desperately, but there was nothing he could do. There was an old witch outside the door. She was furious, holding an extra-large broom and guarding the outside viciously. Rodin is innocent and helpless.

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