Camille Claudel (1864-1943)
L’Âge mûr, vers 1893-1899
Bronze - 114 x 163 x 72 cm
Paris, Musée Rodin
Photo : Ch. Baraja/Musée Rodin
© ADAGP Paris, 2008
The Mature Age, also named The Destiny, The Way of Life or The Fate (1894-1900) is one of major sculptures by Camille Claudel. There is a version made in plaster and another one in bronze, respectively on exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay and at the Musée Rodin.
After the rupture between Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin who refused to marry her, Rodin tried to help her through another person and obtained from the Director of Fine Arts an order from the State : The Mature Age was commissioned in 1895 and exhibited in plaster in 1899 at the Salon de la Société nationale des beaux-arts. It was cast in bronze in 1902 by Thiébaut and exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay. A second bronze was cast by Carvelhania after 1913 and was exhibited at the Musée Rodin.
This work reflects Claudel’s abandonment by Rodin : She implores him kneeling while he prefers coming back to Rose, his wife.Claudel explained this symbolism in some letters to her brother Paul Claudel, then consul in New York. This work is thus deemed as autobiographical.