Just down the Quai from Notre Dame
and the Cafe Lutetia (pictured earlier) is the door to
the home of Camille Claudel, French sculptor and artist.
Born in 1864 in Fere-en-Tardenois, Aisne, her family moved to several different locations in France (including a stay in Bar-le-Duc, the home of 'My French Family' and where I've spent many a Christmas) before finally, in 1881, settling in the Montparnasse section of Paris.
In 1883, while she studied under Alfred Boucher, Auguste Rodin agreed to lead the sculptor's class while he was away and it was here that he met the young Camille. The two began a tumultuous affair.
(Note: the Ecole des Beaux-Arts still refused women at this time! )
About the time she broke off her relationship with Rodin, she moved into this building where she lived and worked until 1913 when a mental illness prodded her family to incarcerate her in a psychiatric hospital.
This plaque outside the door includes a quote from one of her letters to Rodin:
"There is always something missing that torments me."
Unfortunately, during her illness, she destroyed many of her works. And while her doctors told her mother she was perfectly capable of living outside the hospital, her family refused to release her.
The film version of her life, made in 1988, stars the stunning Isabel Adjani as Claudel and Gerard Depardieu as Rodin and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)