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Monday, December 15, 2014

Rodin's Lover by Heather Webb

This book is one of the Advanced Reader editions I receive in exchange for a review via LibraryThing.com. I chose this book because I have a fine-arts background and enjoy reading about anything art. I also love Rodin's work and was curious about Camille Claudel's life and work - individually and in relation to Rodin's. (Rodin was Camille's sculpture instructor. Camille also apprenticed with Rodin, working many hours on his sculptures.)

Review

Rating: ***

I would have preferred a more sophisticated interpretation of Camille Claudal's life. She was an exceptional artist who was ahead of her time both artistically and culturally. Her tragic life was circumstantial. She had a bitter and hateful mother and brother who essentially stole Camille's life from her; and for a woman in the 19th century, her independent desire to express herself in sculpture was akin to prostitution.

Looking at and reading about the life and work of Claudel in relation to Rodin, it is clear they fed off and influenced one another both artistically and intellectually. This book would have been far more interesting had the author focused on the dynamics of this dual creative force. Instead, it read like a light romance novel. It was not the biography I anticipated.

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