On View: European Art Galleries, 5th floor
Constantin Meunier made a specialty of depicting muscular industrial laborers in the late nineteenth century. He conceived of his subjects as integral members of society and infused them with a sense of grandeur and heroism. Produced during a time of unrest in the European labor community, his images were embraced by many writers and critics as revolutionary calls for reform.
His work was understood differently in the United States in 1913–14, also a time of industrial strife, when his retrospective exhibition traveled across the country to great acclaim. Meunier’s noble laborers were perceived as acquiescent, proud, and happy with their stations in life, as opposed to actual militant strikers. One American critic noted that his figures reveal “an invigorating joy in life, in labor,” offering “a lesson to the rebelling and dissatisfied.”
Lithograph on laid paper
Image: 13 9/16 x 20 11/16 in. (34.5 x 52.5 cm) (show scale)
Signed, "C. Meunier" lower right margin in black ink
Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund
Constantin Meunier (Belgian, 1831-1905). Mineur, 1895. Lithograph on laid paper, Image: 13 9/16 x 20 11/16 in. (34.5 x 52.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, 38.419 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.38.419-1.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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