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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 46 (2004) 7, 419 - 427


The decline of Camille Claudel.

C.M.T. Gijsbers van Wijk, H.M. Visser

Camille Claudel, a talented sculptress in France in the late 19th century, has become renowned as an apprentice, model, muse and mistress of the sculptor Auguste Rodin. However, what is less well known is that she spent a considerable part of her life in a mental institution. In this article we discuss her life, the course of her illness and the differential diagnosis that caused her to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Camille's psychiatric illness is generally attributed to her disastrous relationship with Rodin. However, on the basis of her psychiatric symptoms and the course of her illness we believe that Claudel was more probably suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

keywords art, Camille Claudel, psychopathology, schizophrenia