Constantin Meunier Belgian, 1831-1905


Constantin Meunier was one of the premier European Social Realists of the late 19th century, considered on par with Jean-François Millet and Charles de Groux. While he began his artistic career as a sculptor, he pursued only painting from 1857-1884. Thematically, his work was based largely in humanitarian interests, many of his subjects being laborers, miners, metalworkers, dockworkers, and women at home. In 1882, the Belgian government sponsored Meunier on a trip to Spain, where he painted religious subjects. Upon his return he refocused his energy on social themes, only now he began to express his empathy and respect for commonplace subjects by sculpting them in bronze. One of his most notable works was a large outdoor sculpture group entitled Monument to Labour, installed in Brussels’ Place de Trooz in 1930.

Museums and Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago

Detroit Institute of Arts

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

J Paul Getty Museum

Louvre Museum

Musée d’Orsay

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

National Gallery of Art

Réunion des Musées Nationaux

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Carnegie Museum of Art

Harvard University Art Museums

Cleveland Museum of Art

Courtauld Institute of Art

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas

Statens Museum for Kunst

Finnish National Gallery

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