When he returned from training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1886, he painted en plein air in an Impressionist style.
Bare feet as a sign of rural poverty, among irregular peasant volunteer soldiers, and striking miners. But what about the kissing of feet?
Photographers, musicians, harvesters, foresters, booksellers and propagandists, and tinkers from the roads of the past.
Some personal, even intimate wedding paintings, from Rubens, Hans Gude, William Frith, and two Naturalists. And they all lived happily ever after.
As narrative painting went into decline, Ophelia became even more popular. From Henrietta Rae through sub-aqua views to Waterhouse’s obsession.
Two superb series of paintings of scenes from Goethe’s Faust Part One, by Ary Scheffer and James Tissot.
Faust and Mephistopheles attend the witches’ celebrations on the Brocken peak in the Harz Mountains – a wild night, it seems.
Viewed as classic and fit for narrative painting, Faust is about good and evil, a powerful story which has inspired powerful paintings.
His late career tackled his dislike of Impressionism, sculpture, photography as an art, and the depiction of truth – in several superb paintings.
Eight of Cabanel’s most precocious and brilliant pupils. Only one won the Prix de Rome, and the others went on to develop Naturalist art. Was Cabanel the father of this new movement?