Camille Claudel 1915

The sad life and stunted dreams of French sculptor Camille Claudel are the stuff of feminist parable. In 1884, as a 19-year-old student, she joined the staff of Auguste Rodin, helping to execute some of his larger works, and eventually became his muse, model, and lover; when she began to develop as an artist in her own right, their work grew intertwined, but she could never establish her own reputation and the romance soured. Claudel enjoyed some professional success on her own but her past with Rodin overshadowed everything else, and when she began to go mad in her early 40s, her chief delusion was that the famous sculptor wanted to poison her and steal her work. Her life has inspired books, plays, a musical, a ballet, and two dramatic films—the most recent of which, by French director Bruno Dumont, stars Juliette Binoche as the troubled woman, three years after her family committed her to an asylum. Read more.