Cabanel, Alexandre (1823-89) was born at Montpellier, France. He received most of the honors that the French government could bestow on a painter. He became the most popular portrait painter of the day, and his pupils included a number of famous artists, such as Pierre Auguste Cot, Jules Bastien Lepage and Aristide Maillol.

 Cabanel entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the age of seventeen. He studied with François-Édouard Picot and exhibited at the Paris Salon for the first time in 1844. He won the Prix de Rome scholarship in 1845 at the age of twenty two.

His pictures soon attracted attention. His "Birth of Venus", now in the Luxembourg, was the hit of the official Salon of 1863 and was bought by the emperor Napoleon III, who gave Cabanel several prestigious commissions. Also in 1863, Cabanel was elected a member of the Institute and appointed professor at the École des Beaux-Arts. He won the Grande Médaille d'Honneur at the Salons of 1865, 1867, and 1878. Cabanel was closely connected to the Paris Salon. He was elected regularly to the Salon jury and his pupils could be counted by the hundred at the Salons. Through them, Cabanel did more than any other artist of his generation to form the character of belle époque French painting.


"Phèdre" (1880)



"Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisioners" (1887) Oil on canvas, 165.6 x  290.2 cm - 65.18 x 114.25 in. Koninklijk Museum, Antwerp, Belgium.



"The Death of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta" (1870) Oil on canvas. Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France.



"Paige" Oil on canvas. Private collection.



"Fallen Angel" Oil on canvas. Private collection.



"The Roman Monk" Oil on canvas. Private collection.



"Ophelia" (1883) Oil on canvas, 117.5 x 77 cm - 46.3 x 30.3 in. Private collection.



"Portrait de John William Mackay " (1878) Oil on canvas, 85.1 x 129.5 cm - 33.5 × 51 in. Private collection.

Text source: various.

Related Artists:

Related Terms: Realism.


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