La Petite Châtelaine (1896)
Between 1890 and 1893, at the height of their relationship, Claudel and Rodin stayed at the romantic castle L’Islette in the Loire valley. There Claudel portrayed the six-year old Madeleine Boyer, the castle owner’s granddaughter. The girl posed for a total of 62 hours and was rewarded for doing so with a doll by Claudel.
In the years that followed, Claudel produced four marble versions of the portrait. The most finished version with detailed hair and a marble plinth, was made in 1896 at the behest of industrialist Henri Fontaine. The sculpture harks back to Renaissance sculpture and demonstrates the great craftsmanship Claudel had learned from Boucher.