Camille Claudel,  L’Âge Mûr

"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.

"The Mature Age, also named The Destiny, The Way of Life or The Fate (1894–1900) reflects Claudel's abandonment by Rodin. She implores him kneeling while he prefers coming back to Rose, his longtime girlfriend.

"Claudel and Rodin continued to work together until 1898, but their relationship deteriorated irretrievably after Rodin saw her transparently autobiographical sculpture The Mature Age, which depicts a young woman pleading with her older lover to leave his female companion."

-- Wikipedia

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There are at least two levels of narrative here: the specific story of Claudel's rejection by Rodin, and the larger message of a man's abandonment of a woman who adores him.

According to one interpretation, the aged figure leading the man away represents old age and death.

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The first version of L’Âge Mûr, plaster, 1894-1895

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Claudel's The Waltz, created at the time of her first romantic encounters with Rodin:

(Click the image for a lightbox view)

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