MANNER OF CONSTANTIN MEUNIER [French, 1831-1905]
A Shivering Worker
Sand-cast patinated bronze | signed to the base "Meunier" in script
Item # 304PBD20W
An incredibly fine and compelling model of a Shivering Worker, it is a moving work that bridges the Romantic and the Modernist with its fluid impressionistic surface. The model is signed on the base "Meunier", clearly an attribution to the renowned champion of the working classes Constantin Meunier. And the sheer quality of the model with its exceedingly good casting and silky surface would lead us to agree with the attribution, except that we have not found an example of the model documented anywhere that would firmly place it in the hands of Constantin Meunier.
A striking commentary on the working poor in Belgium, the present model is particularly interesting in its depiction of an Asian immigrant instead of the more typical pattern of portraying local workers of European descent. The loose surface work carefully captures the man and his surroundings in a way that allows the viewer to literally be present in the man's discomfort: his collar raised to protect his neck from the biting wind as he tucks his fhin into the thick folds of his jacket, it is hard to imagine the garment fully protecting him with only a few layers present. He is wearing a flat-cap typical of the working class during the late 19th century, a hat that became largely adopted by the British as the 20th century progressed. The model is notable for its brilliant understated surface texture, the lower recesses of which have captured a nearly black patination, accentuating the surface variation agains the medium-brown tones of the rest of the surface.
Measurements: 13 5/8" H x 5 3/8" D x 5 5/8" W
An attractive and well-preserved patina with some light spots and general surface wear from handling; a few stray spots of trace verdigris; sealed in wax; a very fine presentation.