A mental asylum, where patients wander like somnambulists, is the last shelter for Camille Claudel, a lover of the great Rodin. After a visit from the sculptor, she feels nothing but pain and despair. In his memories, Rodin returns in his past...
Sculptor’s workshop. Here is the place where Rodin’s wild fantasies come to life through clay and bronze. With her appearance, Camille, a young model, starts a fire in the heart of Rodin, who is in his middle age.
It is intolerable for Camille to wake up in the mental asylum. However, her sufferings at the hands of the other female patients, who beat and abuse her, are nothing compared to the horrible emptiness that enlaced Camille’s soul.
The life of old Rodin is full of grief. The tenderness of his devoted Rose is heavier than iron bonds. The sculptor is buried in his thoughts, where he finds himself an impetuous creator again. Camille is by his side, with her passion and gift of genius that give him power. Rodin’s indifference makes Rose suffer.
Camille’s coming insanity is already near: her mind becomes bedimmed with an obsession. But still her life is an endless vortex, in the very center of which is Rodin. Without hesitation, she gives her genius to her beloved and her master. Envy of Camille as an artist grows in the sculptor’s soul.
Rodin wins his success. Camille, his mate and co-author of his works, is left behind as an unknown witness of another’s glory.
The Gates of Hell are created in sufferings. Camille works devotedly with Rodin. Rose follows Rodin constantly, which makes him go through torment and repentance. Happy moments of his life revive in his mind: young Rose, beautiful and lovely bacchante, whom Rodin meets at a grape festival.
Camille’s relationship with her master becomes a torture for her. In a blaze of despair, she escapes from her beloved. A passing affair with a random lover cannot heal her scars. She has no other choice than to return to Rodin, who is her destiny and her curse.
The sculptor is embarrassed. His heart is torn between burning passion for one woman and sincere affection for another one. How can he break this vicious circle of incessant torments?
Camille is coming closer and closer to the edge of the abyss. Her work on Clotho, fearful anthem to ruthless Fate, exhausts her mental state completely. Distressed by critics, Camille destroys her sculpture in a blaze of rage.
Camille suffers from nightmares. She sees Rodin as an ugly beast who is guilty of all her tortures. The poor woman has no way to escape from this insanity, which captures her mind and soul.