Tête de Mineur (original French title)
Lithograph printed on chine-collé on a thick support sheet.
References: Stein & Karshan 47; Boyer & Cate 47.
Rare, and possibly unique trial proof on chine-collé, aside from the edition published by L’Estampe Originale in an edition of 100.
The edition was printed on a sheet of tan Japan paper, which complements the concept of the drab and smoke-filled surroundings of minors. However, it also makes for a rather dulled overall composition. The lack of contrast between the drawing and the sheet detracts from the quality of the draftsmanship and of the majesty intended by the artist. In our impression, all the black lines pop against the light-gray background of the chine. The crayon work shows in detail, looking like a crayon drawing, and the fine scraping used by Meunier to delineate the profile, some of the hair, and a few other details throughout is particularly vivid. This impression is a magnificent ode to the pride and bravery of labor as incarnated by this pensive minor. It is also one of the most accomplished drawings by Constantin Meunier, the figurehead of socially conscious art in Northern Europe at the end of the 19th century, and who was primarily a sculptor. He remains on of Belgium’s most beloved and admired artists.
Signed with the monogram in the image.