Watching these two French movies may inspire you to visit two Paris museums: the Rodin Museum and Maison Victor Hugo.
“Camille Claudel”(1988)—Rodin Museum
It became my mission to go to the Rodin Museum after seeing the movie, “Camille Claudel” starring Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu.
Sculptor Auguste Rodin was Camille Claudel’s instructor and he then hired her in 1884 and she became not only his assistant, but also his inspiration and lover. She never lived with him and eventually ended her tempestuous relationship with Rodin after 10 years. She wanted to make a name for herself and not be simply known as Rodin’s mistress. During her life and particularly after, she was seen as an accomplished, talented artist.
Historians debate over who had influence over whom. Both Rodin and Claudel were talented. Rodin produced much more work but this is partly because Claudel would become obsessive about her work and then destroy them. There is controversy as to whether she was mentally ill. In the early 1900s she was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for a period of time. She spent the last 30 years of her life in an asylum and while she destroyed many of her sculptures and drawings, about 90 survived.
At the Rodin Museum many of her works of art are on display.
The Rodin Museum is located at 77 rue de Varenne.
Another movie about Camille Claudel called “Camille Claudel 1915” was made in 2014 and it starred Juliette Binoche.
“The Story of Adele H”(1975)—Victor Hugo Museum
Once again Isabelle Adjani stars in this movie directed by Francois Truffaut about Adele Hugo, who was the daughter of famous French poet and novelist, Victor Hugo. The story is based on the notes from Adele’s diary about her obsessive, doomed love of a British officer with whom she had a brief relationship. She basically stalks him all the way to Halifax, Canada where he is stationed. Even when he confronts her and tells her to stop, she doesn’t.
She does more and more bizarre things to get the officer to marry her and eventually sinks into madness and becomes destitute. It was filmed in Guernsey, Channel Islands, off the coast of St. Malo, France.
Maison Victor Hugo is located at 6 Place des Vosges and you get a glimpse into what Hugo’s life was like when he lived there from 1832-1848. Entrance is free but a donation is suggested. Be sure you get the audio guide. It will make the visit much more interesting.
Are there any movies that have inspired you to visit a particular museum or place?