Constantin Meunier was the leading Belgian sculptor of the late 19th century, as well as a prolific painter and illustrator, and one of the period’s foremost exponents of sculptural realism. The most comprehensive collection of his works is currently housed by the Musée Meunier in Brussels; his sculptures also form part of the Bochum Museum (Germany), the Musée d’Orsay (Paris) and the Getty Museum (Los Angeles).

 

The artist first exhibited in plaster at the 1851 Brussels Salon, then dedicating himself to painting following the advice of his mentor – the influential realist artist Charles de Groux. It was only from the 1880s onwards that Meunier turned to sculpture, and particularly to the depiction of the daily life of the working class, following a tendency that had developed already in the 1840s thanks to the work of Gustave Courbet (1819 – 1877) and Jean François Millet (1814-1875).

 

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