Sculptures by Constantin Meunier
I had never heard the name of this Belgian sculptor Constantin Meunier (1831-1905) when I came across him at the Musem der Bildenden Kunst in Leipzig, Germany. The realistic and modern look got me interested.
It seems that Constantin Meunier’s style of art could be the Art Nouveau as he lived and worked in that period. In the Leipzig museum, we were not allowed to take pictures, but I had to get this one with me to be able to remember the view of a robust young man with a severe gaze.
Two weeks ago I found him again at The Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and I knew it had to be the same artist.
Sunday afternoon, I was showing English tourist friends around Copenhagen. In the garden of The Glyptotek, the patron of art, Carl Jacobsen had placed a similar statue reminding me of Meunier’s sculpture in Boston:
The Dock Hand
Modeled 1885, cast 1905
Constantin Emile Meunier (Belgian, 1831–1905)
Originally a painter, Meunier began working in sculpture in 1885. Like the French painter Jean-François Millet, Meunier was particularly interested in depicting members of the working class and in addressing social issues of the day. This dock hand, identifiable by the jute sack that covers his head, is typical of Meunier’s idealized images, which bring dignity and nobility to their humble subjects. The wax model for The Dock Hand was exhibited in Brussels in 1885, but the bronze casts were not made until the year of Meunier’s death.