Home past auctions Contemporary Ceramics 1 - 4 June 2015 237 George Walker 'The Lamia of Rodin (Camille Claudel)', 1993
LOT 237


(British, b.1930)
'The Lamia of Rodin (Camille Claudel)', 1993
Earthenware, painted with vitreous slips and oil paints
H 48cm, W 20cm D 26 cm
LITERATURE: Michael Flynn, 'Ceramic Figures', A&C Black/Rutgers University Press, 2002; illustrated p.218. NOTES: This work is one of a series by George Walker on the theme of the dismembered female torso in twentieth century sculpture. According to George Walker's personal recollections, this piece is designed as a memorial to Camille Claudel, the mistress of Rodin. In Walker's view Camille was already an accomplished sculptor when she met Rodin. He started becoming very well known and having honours heaped on him. Had women at that time been independent and recognized as artists, she might have been a rival to him. But in her own lifetime, she got no recognition, and Rodin got it all. She became very jealous of him and emotionally disturbed, and she was eventually locked away in an asylum. Untill very recently, she was totally forgotten and ignored, and she was not even mentioned in biographies of Rodin. Now there are two books on her and recently there has been a room devoted to her work in the Rodin Museum in Paris. George believes that Rodin and Maillol were among the first artist who invented the sculpted female torso (without limbs) as a thing in itself. The female torso that is familiar to us from classical Greek and Roman times were never made as torsos, but have merely survived in this form, with the limbs lost over time. Rodin removed the arms, legs, and head of the female, in fact, anything that could allow her to make an independent decision or movement. It was this depiction of women in the form of torsos from which Rodin derived his fame – represented by the top hat. The Lamia in Greek mythology is the ghost of a woman with a malign influence – she sucks the strength from men. Rodin deserves to be haunted in this way by Camille Claudel for his part in her being secluded in a mental institute.

CONDITION: Perfect condition with no damage or restoration

Estimate :

£1,200 - £1,800

Item not sold:

Reserve was not met

Hammer Price:


Bidding Ended :

04/06/2015 17:52:00

Bid History