Brussels Museum Nocturnes week II – focus on Constantin Meunier Museum

It’s Thursday again – time for Brussels Museum Nocturnes evening. In the second week of the 18th edition of the initiative, you have the chance to visit a great variety of museums which contribute to the architectural, intellectual and artistic heritage of Brussels. This week, Brussels Express would like to introduce you to the home-atelier of Constantin Meunier, whose monuments you have probably seen in many public spaces in Brussels without realising who the author is.

Constantin Meunier was a fascinating Belgian painter and sculptor. Considered one of the greatest artists of the century by Rodin and admired by Van Gogh, Constantin Meunier explored the Belgian industrial, political and social life at the end of the 19th century. He was born on 12 April 1831 in Etterbeek, Brussels. Later on, he was encouraged to enter the Brussels Academy of Fine Arts in 1845 by his elder brother Jean-Baptiste Meunier who was an engraver.


Constantin Meunier
By Isidore Verheyden – Creative Commons


He grew up in a traditional working-class family. That is why, his work reflected the long-hour labour of the ordinary person with a compassionate, genuine brush. His Realism elevated the work of industrial workers, emphasising on how hard and important their work is. The miners, the farmers, the people from the factory – those with no names, but representatives of industrial groups that build Belgium the way we see it today. He died in Ixelles in 1905.

One of his most famous work is Monument au Travail.

Discover the study-home of the artist tonight. The Musée Constantin-Meunier dedicated to his work was opened in the last house in which Meunier lived and worked. The house-museum was opened in 1939 and it hasn’t been changed ever since. Sculptures in bronze and plaster, paintings, drawings, sketches and drafts: the museum presents a selection of over 150 works and documents. The Meunier Museum is part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

You can also visit:

Fantastic art museum – a museum or a gallery of imagination, this place promises unusual creatures with a quirky look. This colourful permanent collection is a unique journey for all the lovers of the fantastic.

D’Ieteren Gallery – opening its doors exclusively for the Nocturnes. Close to 100 vehicles exhibited represent the main activities carried out by D’Ieteren over a period of more than 200 years : horse-drawn carriages and coachbuilt automobiles alongside examples of brands that the company has distributed or continues to distribute to this day.

Horta Museum – The Horta Museum was set up in the home and workshop of Victor Horta (1861-1947). During the Nocturnes, the focus will be on the house’s Japan-inspired interior. Maia Aboueleze and Cornelia Zambila will be providing an encounter between a taiko (a Japanese drum) and a violin. This original performance, based on an initial work around silence and the distortion of time, will echo Victor Horta’s architecture.

Van Buuren Museum & Gardens -Built in 1928, the house of banker and art patron David van Buuren is typical of the Amsterdam School. The interior is an Art Déco masterpiece with rare furniture, carpets and stained glass designed by Belgian, French and Dutch designers. It also houses a collection of paintings and sculptures.

Art Et Marges Museum – In this interactive museum, you can see the exhibition Summer Collection. You can meet some of the artists whose works are on show and have your favorite artwork printed on your T-shirt.


What is Brussels Museum Nocturnes?

Between 13th September and 6 December 2018, 73 museums in Brussels invite you to discover the history and art of Belgium in a novel way. Every Thursday evening from 5pm to 10pm you can visit at least 3 museums at a very affordable price. The initiative of Brussels Museums and the non-profit Brussels Museums Council aims to introduce the citizens with the charm and treasures kept in memorable buildings. New exhibitions, workshops, music, food and drink, alternative guided tours and screenings, promise to soften the first signs of winter. Brussels Express will introduce you to curious stories and curators of one of the museums every week.