Constantin Meunier, who was primarily known as a painter and draughtsman, was always attracted to rural life.
He repeatedly transposed themes such as the soil, the mower, the sower, the harvest into sculptures. The Sower, which you can see in the Middelheim Museum, was originally created for the Botanical Gardens in Brussels. The sculpture was part of a group, which also included a reaper and a woman gathering wood.
The project in the Botanical Gardens was never completed, however, and the sculptures were eventually installed near Van Praet Bridge in Brussels, a few years after Meunier’s death. Three editions of this sculpture were cast. During his stay in the Trappist monastery in Westmalle, Meunier’s fascination for religious themes was sparked, which introduced a sense of tranquillity in his formal vocabulary. He regularly exhibited his work in the Belgian and Paris salons, before immersing himself in the world of factory workers from the Borinage and the Pays Noir around Charleroi. Working life subsequently became the most important theme in his paintings, drawings and sculptures. He befriended Félicien Rops as a student at the academy.
On loan from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp to the Middelheim Museum since 1950.
Number 7 on the map
- The Sower
- h 233 cm x w 94 cm x d 93 cm