Constantin Meunier

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Constantin Meunier

Constantin Meunier, by Max Liebermann
Constantin Meunier (12 April 1831 – 4 April 1905) was a Belgian painter and sculptor, born in Etterbeek, Brussels.


Constantin Meunier was born in the traditionally working-class area of Etterbeek, near Brussels.

Art career
His first exhibit was a plaster sketch, The Garland, shown at the Brussels Salon in 1851. Soon afterwards, on the advice of the painter Charles de Groux (fr), he abandoned the chisel for the brush. His first important painting, The Salle St Roch (1857), was followed by a series of paintings including A Trappist Funeral (1860), Trappists Ploughing (1863), in collaboration with Alfred Verwee, Divine Service at the Monastery of La Trappe (1871) and episodes of the German Peasants' War (1878).

About 1880 he was commissioned to illustrate those parts of Camille Lemonnier's description of Belgium in Le Tour du monde which referred to miners and factory-workers, and produced In the Factory, Smithery at Cockerill's, Melting Steel at the Factory at Seraing (1882), Returning from the Pit, and The Broken Crucible (1884).

In 1882 he was employed by the government to copy Pedro de Campaña's Descent from the Cross at Seville, and in Spain he painted such characteristic pictures as The Café Concert, Procession on Good Friday, and The Tobacco Factory at Seville (Brussels Gallery). On his return to Belgium he was appointed professor at the Louvain Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1885 he returned to statuary and produced The Puddler, The Hammerer (1886), Firedamp (1889, Brussels Gallery), Le Débardeur (modeled 1885; many castings made 1889–1905), Ecce Homo (1891), The Old Mine-Horse (1891), The Mower (1892), The Glebe (1892), the monument to Father Damien at Louvain (1893), Puddler at the Furnace (1893), the scheme of decoration for the Botanical Garden of Brussels in collaboration with the sculptor Charles van der Stappen (1893), The Horse at the Pond, in the square in the north-east quarter of Brussels, and two unfinished works, the Monument to Labour and the Émile Zola monument, in collaboration with the French sculptor Alexandre Charpentier.

The Monument to Labour, which was acquired by the State for the Brussels Gallery, comprises four stone bas-reliefs: Industry, The Mine, Harvest, and the Harbour; four bronze statues: The Sower, The Smith, The Miner, and the Ancestor; and a bronze group, Maternity.

He was one of the co-founders of the Société Libre des Beaux-Arts of Brussels and was a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers.

He was a freemason, and a member of the lodge Les Amis Philanthropes of the Grand Orient of Belgium in Brussels.

Meunier died at Brussels on 4 April 1905.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Steel worker

Le Débardeur (The Dock Worker)

The Horse at the Pond 1899

Man Battling with the Elements


Mineurs rentrant à la maison
from 1895 to 1897

Anvers ("Docker")

Buste du Christ

Mineur dans une veine

The Soil

Buste d'un mineur
from 1885 to 1890


La Terre

La Glèbe

L'Homme qui boit

Le Grisou


Le Grisou

Le Grisou



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