The Dock Hand

Modeled 1885, cast 1905
Constantin Emile Meunier (Belgian, 1831–1905)

Object Place: Europe, Belgium


117 x 46.4 x 45.7 cm (46 1/16 x 18 1/4 x 18 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal; bronze

On View

The Beal Gallery (Gallery 251)





Man standing with hands on hips; weight on right leg; head facing three-quarters left.

Originally a painter, Meunier began working in sculpture in 1885. Like the French painter Jean-François Millet, Meunier was particularly interested in depicting members of the working class and in addressing social issues of the day. This dock hand, identifiable by the jute sack that covers his head, is typical of Meunier’s idealized images, which bring dignity and nobility to their humble subjects. The wax model for The Dock Hand was exhibited in Brussels in 1885, but the bronze casts were not made until the year of Meunier’s death.


Signed on the proper left side of the base "C. Meunier" in script and "Atelier/59 Rue l'Abbeye".


By 1921, Johan Durup, West Newton, MA; by inheritance to his widow; 1960, sold by Helene (Mrs. Johan) Durup to the MFA for $1,700. (Accession Date: April 14, 1960)

Credit Line

Helen and Alice Colburn Fund