According to Mathias Morhardt, the Torso of a Crouching Woman is the first work that Camille Claudel (1864-1943) modeled in Rodin’s studio.
The Claudel family moved to Paris is 1881, and Camille, who’d been sculpting since the age of 12, entered the Colarossi academy in the rue de la Grande Chaumière. The following year, she shared a studio with friends at 117 rue Notre-Dame des Champs. The sculptor Alfred Boucher, who had been her instructor from the beginning, came regularly to critique the young women’s work. He introduced Camille to Paul Dubois, the director of the École des Beaux-Arts, who saw her work and exclaimed: “You’ve taken lessons from Monsieur Rodin!” However, Camille had not yet even met Rodin, who was just coming into prominence. She finally met him in 1883, when Boucher asked him to take on his students. Camille went to work in Rodin’s studio as an assistant in 1884 or 1885, when he was working on TheGates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais. She soon became both his lover and his principal collaborator. He consulted her on everything, and took her opinion seriously. The two artists both inspired and influenced each other, and her work throughout this period naturally reflects this.