Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Alexandre Cabanel, French academic painter

Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889)was mentioned in passing in our brief discussion on Gaston Bussière, who was one of his pupils. Cabanel was a French academic painter, and he has most of the strengths and weaknesses of that type of painter. Enormously popular during his lifetime, he suffered complete popular and critical eclipse in the 20th century.

He had the distinction of inspiring the single silliest passage in the whole of Bram Dijkstra’s Idols of Perversity, the “nymph with the broken back” passage.

Alexandre Cabanel, Albayde, 1848

Alexandre Cabanel, Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners, 1897

Alexandre Cabanel, Phedre

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