Born in September 28, 1823 in the city of Montpellier, in a modest family and son of a joiner, Alexandre Cabanel attends the free drawing school as it is usual among the artisans families.
Exceptionally talented, he travels to Paris with a scholarship and enters the École des Beaux Arts in 1840, while at the same time attends the studio of François-Édouard Picot, a former student of Jean Louis David.
After two recognized works, "Cincinnatus recevant les ambassadeurs de Rome" (Cincinnatus Receiving Deputies of the Senate), 1843 and "Le Christ au Jardin des Oliviers" (1844), he enters the Salon for the first time in 1844 and wins the Prix de Rome in 1845 with the painting "Jésus dans le Prétoire".
In 1846, Cabanel enters the French Academy in Rome, located in the Villa Medicis, where he meets former laureates, including Barrias, Biennoury, Dammery, Cavelier and Guillaume.
In 1855, he wins the medal of first class at the Universal Exhibition, in Paris.
In the same year, Cabanel is honoured with the Cross of the Legion of Honour and receives a commission by the French State to paint a Louis XIII and a Richelieu for the Senate.
With "La Veuve du Maître de la Chapelle", the Salon of 1959 marks an attempt to reach a wider public and the artist, who's work is influenced by his stay in Italy, essays other themes besides the historic ones , namely landscapes and everyday life scenes.
In 1861, the Napoléon III acquires his painting "Nymphe enlevée par un satyre" (1860) and "La Naissance de Vénus" in 1863 at the Salon, where the painting obtained notable recognition by the public and art critics.
Cabanel is elected a member of the Institute in 1863 and appointed professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in the same year, later winning the Grande Médaille d'Honneur in the Salons of 1865, 1867, and 1878.
During all these years, Alexandre Cabanel is also commissioned to paint the decors of l'Hôtel de Ville de Paris in 1852, and of the private owned hotels of Pereire and Say (owned by J.P. Morgan since 1916)
The artist has also established his own atelier, which from 1864 until the time of his death in January 23, 1889, was attended by near 600 students.
Curated by Michel Hilaire and Sylvain Amic, the exhibition "Alexandre Cabanel, la tradition du beau" at the Musée Fabre (Montpellier, France) can be visited until December 5, 2010.
After which will be taken to the Walraff-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Germany, between February 4, 2011 and May 15, 2011.
Découvrez Rétrospective Alexandre Cabanel au Musée Fabre sur Culturebox !