- Meunier, Constantin-Émile
- (1831-1905)The sculptor and painter Constantin-Émile Meunier was born in Etterbeek on 12 April 1831. Following training as a sculptor at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts, he made his reputation first as a naturalist painter. Known especially for painting religious scenes in his early career, Meunier undertook study trips to Liège and the Borinage coal-mining district in Hainault (1879-1881) after which he produced paintings of industrial landscapes peopled by the laboring classes, notably miners and forge workers. He transferred this theme to sculptural works and was largely responsible for introducing social realism into Belgian sculpture. His Grisou (1889) is the most well known among a series of statues depicting working-class subjects. Meunier's colossal Monument au Travail (Monument to work), erected posthumously and now at the Vergote basin in Laeken, features four large reliefs and gigantic figures. His home in Etterbeek, where he died on 4 April 1905, is now a museum.A square in Ixelles bears his name. A replica of his sculpture Dockworker stands in its center.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.