OIL PAINTING: The Birth of Venus, 1863
Cabanel ranked with Bouguereau
as one of the most successful and influential academic painters of the period and one of the sternest opponents of the Impressionists
The Birth of Venus (Musee d'Orsay, Paris) is Cabanel's best-known oil painting and typical of the slick and titillating (but supposedly chaste) nudes at which he excelled. It was the hit of the official Salon of 1863, the year of the Salon des Refuses, and was bought by the emperor Napoleon III, who gave Cabanel several prestigious commissions.