CC eBook cover $9.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play; disponible en français

Camille Claudel: A Life by Odile Ayral-Clause (98,000 words and 63 illustrations)

Camille Claudel, sister of writer Paul Claudel, was a gifted nineteenth-century French sculptor who worked with
Auguste Rodin, became his lover, and then left him to gain recognition for herself in the art world. With a strong sense of independence and a firm belief in her own considerable talent, Claudel created some extraordinary works of art and challenged the social and artistic limitations imposed upon the women of her time. Eventually, however, she crumbled beneath the combined weight of social reproof, deprivation, and art-world prejudices. Her family, distraught by her unconventional behavior as well as her delusions and paranoia, had her committed to a mental asylum, where she died thirty years later.

Camille Claudel’s life has been romanticized in print and on film, but this is the first fully researched biography to present a rounded picture of the life and work of this remarkable woman. The book, also available
in French, has been widely praised for its gripping presentation of the life of a woman artist in the nineteenth century, and for its successful attempt to free Claudel from the myths that had been woven around her.

“The complete story of Claudel’s tragic life has never been thoroughly researched and recounted until now, and Ayral-Clause’s polished, to-the-point coverage is galvanizing… Fair and precise, Ayral-Clause’s clarion biography arouses the only reasonable response to Claudel’s saga: outrage.” — Booklist

“Ayral-Clause commands much new data and an admirable objectivity. Highly recommended.” —
Library Journal

“… scholars will find this book, with its mastery of the sources in their original language, a welcome substitute for outdated previous studies…” —
Publishers Weekly

“By excavating Claudel from the edifice of victimization, Ayral-Clause frees us to focus on her work and the factors, both Rodin-and non-Rodin-related, that nurtured and hindered her career.” —
Los Angeles Times

“This is a fascinating biography… Using newly discovered private letters, family photographs and medical documents recently released to the public, the author provides the first serious, authoritative portrait of this brilliantly gifted, misunderstood artist.” —

“Ayral-Clause… resists dogmatic interpretation, choosing instead to view her protagonists as fully and as sympathetically as the evidence allows… Her straightforward narrative style offers a clear and vivid context for Claudel’s life and work.” —
Art and Auction

Camille Claudel: A Life is riveting: measured, even-handed and revelatory. The author shows how we have absorbed the legend (Rodin exploited and deserted her), ignorant of the facts… Odile Ayral-Clause brilliantly illuminates Claudel’s vivacity and recounts her downfall.” — Art Quarterly (England)

“The author has redefined the relationship between Camille Claudel, her environment and the art world, and brings to light the originality of the work of Camille Claudel in relation to Rodin’s” —
L’Oeil (France)