His breakthrough came in 1884, with the first of a series of social realist paintings. It was a hard life in the Danish countryside, and death is never far away.
Brought up in a poor country family, he trained as a sculptor first, then switched to painting. A selection of his early social realist works, comparable with those of Jules Bastien-Lepage.
Naturalism was a phenomenon of Northern Europe, centred in Paris with Jules Bastien-Lepage as its high priest. Except here it is in the Italian island of Sicily, in the backstreets of Catania.
Some religious stories which may have had personal relevance, and conclusions to his series of Roman spectacles, and his sculpture. Finally, a joke which may have inspired the Surrealists.
His late career tackled his dislike of Impressionism, sculpture, photography as an art, and the depiction of truth – in several superb paintings.
He solves the problem of how to paint a stock market crash, and looks at what is seen, visual revelation, and truth.
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?
A precocious painter who was a favourite of Napoleon III, he taught at the École des Beaux-Arts for 25 years. Many of his students became Naturalists. Coincidence? Here’s his story and work.
A series of history paintings showing events in France in the 1600s, even a painting of Saint Jerome. Where had his Roman reconstructions gone?
In the late 19th century, painting was centred on Paris. But in 1870-71, the city was all but destroyed after a long siege, in the Franco-Prussian War. The story told in paintings.