I was recently looking for an image to feature regarding one of my posts and I came across a very old looking picture of a very beautiful but serious looking woman. The picture is above and is of Camille Claudel, a French sculptress. I thought she was very pretty. She had depth to her eyes and gave a solemn gaze. The way her hair looked along her left side, as if it had come slightly undone, gave her the look of tempered wildness.
I did some reading about her to find she wasn’t an ordinary woman but a tragic artistic figure born in the 19th century. What intrigued me more was that she had a working relationship, and affair, with famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. I recalled his name but I couldn’t remember why though so I did a little more reading. Then I saw some of his more famous works, The Gates of Hell and The Thinker, and immediately knew him.
It made me think how incredibly romantic it is to be working with someone so closely doing something you love and having the relationship slowly evolve into a steamy love affair. Of course not for his longtime partner but we gloss over such subjects when romanticizing interactions such as these.
It seems those in the artistic community have such passionate trysts. Possibly because they are doing it with an artistic mind.
Henry Miller and Anias Nin, erotically chronicling their love for one another in classic literature.
Charles Bukowski and Linda King, she becoming the muse for some of his works.
Romanticizing everything in the passion and heat between them, even if there were just as many ups as there were downs. The same goes for Claudel and Rodin. Being so long ago there is no way to determine what happened but a woman of such acclaim being suddenly scraped from all scenes shows the extreme ends of each side of an artistic romance.
But isn’t that what lovers want? Isn’t that what artists want?
We want to hurt. We want to fly. We want pain because it makes us high.
I want to be surrounded by free expression. Living off of each others words and works. Admiring their genius and praising them. Using their minds as a tool to unlock untapped works that are struggling to blossom. Enjoying the fruits of their labor and the spoils of the the passion it brings with it. Being wrapped up in a mess, unable to see the day and living for the darkness in which you both dwell.
The light is harsh when it finally does shine through, but it does give perspective. The low and sorrowful emotional state can call through the mountains. It can shake snow from the peaks. Often times leading to an avalanche to bury you again in bliss only restart the cycle. Tragedy, pain, success and euphoria are the tools of an artist. Not all artists but often the great ones seem to be a bit mad.
Paris seemed to be a stepping stone for early 20th century writers. The magical city and all its beauty. Their words running through the Seine. Freedom to express themselves in any way while living barely above the level of homeless but always having what they needed. Crafting everything perfectly. They made their choice and lived it to the fullest. Life chasing after them because it cannot keep up.
Having that woman to unleash your passion onto and have do it to you. Having her take the form of your muse and your words dripping down her body like the sweat from her skin as you fuck. Those harsh words exchanged between you two to drive home a point of shock and forwardness. Wanting them read and stopped at. Read again with a stop in your breath. To make you feel how badly I wanted her and how much she wanted me, then using the English language to describe it delicately as well.
They can do that, both fuck and make love. Raw animal instinct on the tables and counters because I can’t stop myself while looking at her across the room. All of my words making an arrow straight for her legs and needing them to spread apart and invite me in.
Her gaze calling to me. The stare felt across the room, cutting its heat with her own. She’s a work of art and her mind the pinnacle. Handle it with care because she is priceless. A touch would wound me but I would take the hit, never again able to feel a first upon her skin yet the second, thirds and beyond give me strength. A gasp and brusque drag of her nails along my back pushing me into the rocky shores.
There is no turning back. I am hers. My ship is abandoned and I have taken refuge on her beaches and in her trees. Living off of her land, her peaks and valleys. Finding her fruit and restoring my strength. Dying every day with a smile.
To have that kind of person seems impossible. The reason its so romanticizing is because it doesn’t happen and when it does it’s worth bringing attention to. Two minds thinking similar but not alike. Racing towards the same goal and using each other with equal footing. Pushing the other up until it all comes crashing down and hoping the time spent was enough.
Camille Claudel died alone in an insane asylum, most likely due to her family’s jealousy and anger towards her relationship with Rodin. She doesn’t even have her own grave but a marker indicating her bones are buried along with others. The tragedy of love and passion is cruel, as life often is. However, if life is often cruel then its a tragedy that love and passion is all there is.