Saturday, November 2, 2019

Constantin Meunier's Social Realism

Constantin Meunier (Belgian, 1831-1905) wanted to reinterpret classical themes in terms of the modern industrial worker.
Three female miners
Rather than painting a trio timeless goddesses, he pictured a group of women as gritty workers.

Ophelia

Ophelia, the doomed sister of Laertes in Shakespeare's Hamlet, appears here drowned and washed up on a gray seashore, with the silhouette of a city in the far distance. 

Meunier started as a sculptor, but once he saw the social realism of Gustave Courbet's 1851 painting The Stone Breakers he turned to painting to express social and artistic issues.
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Wikipedia on Constantin Meunier

3 comments:

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CerverGirl said...

Thank you for showing other great artists, many I have not heard about. Wonderful art and varied purposes/expressions.

Fhinn said...

Does anyone know if Munier's "Café del Buzero, Sevilla", influenced Sargent's "El Jaleo", or maybe they other way around? Both were painted in 1882, and when you look in the background they both have that guy sitting on the wall staring out blankly...