The Birth of Venus is a famous painting produced in the year 1863 by a French painter Alexandre Cabanel (Pipes 133). In the same year, Napoleon III purchased the painting. Currently, a similar painting is being preserved at the Musée d’Orsay Museum in Paris.
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Many writers have described Cabanel as an intelligent academic painter with an outstanding impression. During his lifetime, Canabel received several awards for his contribution in arts. Apart from painting, Canabel taught at Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he later became a professor. This paper analyses the painting The Birth of Venus and gives a brief background of its painter.
In The Birth of Venus, Canabel describes a legendary episode found in classical mythologies (Higgs 1). The theme of the painting was very popular during the Canabel’s era, and it enabled painters to illustrate eroticisms in arts without compromising on the public morality. As such, the painting portrays a nude woman in a lustful pose.
Through this piece of art, Canabel criticized the popular artistic approach, which had been adopted in Europe during the 19th century (Lewandowski 12). During this period, artists had adopted different methods of idealizing human bodies. In the painting, Canabel explores Greek cultures and recreates the painting depicting the anonymity with which beauty entered the earth. In addition, the childlike figures illustrated in the painting symbolize the birth of the goddess.
Alexandre Cabanel, Birth of Venus, 1863
Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts
Foundations of Art and Design by By Alan Pipes
London: Laurence King, 2003. Print.
Higgs, Jessica. “Apollo and Daphne — Masterpieces of Greek mythology.(Review) (book review).” Teacher Librarian 1 June 2000: 1-34. Print.
Lewandowski, Hervé . “Musée d’Orsay: Alexandre Cabanel The Birth of Venus.” Musée d’Orsay : Accueil. Version 4. No Pulisher, 12 Feb. 2003. Web.
Pipes, Alan. Foundations of art and design. London: Laurence King, 2003. Print.