Alexandre Cabanel
French, 1823-1889

Alexandre Cabanel was amongst the leading academic French painters of the 19th century, along with his rival, Adolphe William Bouguereau. The influence of fellow French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and the Rococo color palette are strongly evident in Cabanel’s most iconic work, The Birth of Venus (1862). The painting, which depicts a nude Venus reclining across the surface of ocean waves and surrounded by cherubs, received significant acclaim at the 1862 Paris Salon and was purchased by Napoleon III. Cabanel also completed a number of major decorative commissions for the walls and ceilings of various Parisian hotels, villas, and, notably, the Louvre.

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