(1823-89). French painter. The winner of the Prix de Rome in 1845, he 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 his best-known work 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.