Department of Art after 1800
|Date||model: before 1898; cast: 1898|
73 × 54 × 34.5 cm
|Collection||Department of Art after 1800|
|On view||Hungarian National Gallery Building D, First Floor, From Delacroix to Vasarely – Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800, Cabinet|
Constantin Meunier originally studied sculpture at the Brussels academy but later turned to painting. At the start of his career, he produced mainly religious works. In 1878, he discovered the world of mines, furnaces and factories, and the workers who toiled in them, while touring the Belgian countryside in the company
of the writer Camille Lemonnier. The encounter with this new theme gave fresh impetus to his work in the early 1880s. His fame gradually spread after his work was shown in the Paris Salon. His creative output opened up a new perspective in modern sculptural art. His best-known works are his bronzes of dockworkers,
quarrymen and miners, although his oeuvre also includes symbolist works that visualise complex emotions and moods. The Budapest bust shown here, another copy of which can be found in the Musée Meunier in Brussels, belongs to this latter category. Known as both Melancholy and Dejection, the sculpture was originally made for a tomb and was purchased by the museum at the 1907 retrospective exhibition of the artist.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.