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Constantin Meunier

European Art

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.”
MEDIUM Lithograph on laid paper
DATES 1895
DIMENSIONS Image: 13 9/16 x 20 11/16 in. (34.5 x 52.5 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Watermarks: "AL"
SIGNATURE Signed, "C. Meunier" lower right margin in black ink
CREDIT LINE Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION 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)
IMAGE overall, CUR.38.419-1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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