The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel | Oil Painting Reproduction
75 cm
The Birth of Venus
Artist: Alexandre Cabanel
Size: 43 x 75 cm (16.9 x 29.5")
Oil Painting Reproductions

Choose Painting Size (Height x Width)

Proportions will be maintained

Gallery Wrap (Optional) What is a Gallery Wrap? What is a Gallery Wrap?

Price: $339.00
Selected size: 43 x 75 cm (16.9 x 29.5")

Alexandre Cabanel, The Birth of Venus (1863)

Alexandre Cabanel Birth of Venus is a work of unparalleled skill and beauty. It is also one of the most famous nude paintings, renowned for its place in French art.

The painting represents a nude woman with flowing hair, languidly reclining on top of the sea’s waves. Five cherubs (or putti) fly overhead, heralding the arrival of Venus, Goddess of Love.

Is Birth of Venus academic art?

Also known as Naissance de Vénus, Cabanel’s Birth of Venus is a prime example of French Academic art. After the painting’s appearance at the Paris Salon, Napoleon III immediately bought the artwork. It became one of his prized possessions.

Cabanel taught at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts and helped organize the Paris Salon. Both organizations were bastions of French Academicism. 

Birth of Venus demonstrates Cabanel’s virtuosic skill. Indeed, it mixes contemporary artistic tastes and classical themes with outstanding talent.

Birth of Venus paintings has a rich tradition in the history of art. Stretching back to Botticelli with The Birth of Venus (c. 1483), French Academic painters adored the theme. 

Other famous Birth of Venus paintings include a beautiful 1879 artwork by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. The Hungarian artist Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl also produced a stormier and darker version in 1888.

What is the meaning of this famous nude painting by Alexander Cabanel?

Cabanel’s Birth of Venus represents a famous scene from Greek and Roman mythology. It depicts the moment the goddess Venus appears from the foamy waves. 

The theme was intensely popular in the nineteenth century. It allowed artists to experiment with eroticism and female nudity without accusations of poor taste or offending public morals. While the pretext remained mythological, these nude paintings celebrate the female form.

Similarly, Cabanel poses his “Venus” in a sexually suggestive position. Describing the picture, Emile Zola wrote how the goddess “drowned in a sea of milk” resembled a “delicious courtesan.” He claims if she were “flesh and blood,” Cabanel would be indecent. 

Instead, Zola describes how the woman appears like “pink and white marzipan.” With this observation, Zola hits on an essential Cabanel technique. This method included smooth brushwork, pale pastel colors, and a pearly sheen.

Interestingly, another of the most famous paintings of nudes appeared in 1863. This painting was Manet’s Olympia, which (unlike Cabanel’s Venus) caused a public scandal. 

While both paintings brazenly depict a reclining nude, Cabanel’s calm academic assurance gives way to modern confrontation. In Manet’s image, the woman stares straight back at the viewer. She is no longer a classical nymph or goddess but simply a naked woman.

Birth of Venus paintings by Cabanel?

Cabanel and artists working with Cabanel produced three versions of The Birth of Venus. The first version, painted in 1863, now hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. 

After the success of his first creation, Cabanel sold the reproduction rights for the painting. Then, he worked alongside Adolphe Jourdan to oversee a second, smaller painting. While the original measured 150 centimeters by 250 centimeters, the second was just 85 by 135 centimeters. 

This smaller painting currently resides in the Dahesh Museum of Art in New York. Intriguingly, this oil painting is now more famous than the original, probably because it often appears in nineteenth-century art books and is usually attributed to Cabanel. 

The third and final version (painted in 1875) hangs in the Metropolitan Museum, also based in New York.

Famous Painting Replicas

Venus paintings are also available by other famous artists.

In addition to The Birth of Venus, Alexandre Cabanel produced many famous paintings of nudes, which remain among the top 100 most famous paintings.

Discover reproduction oil paintings for sale of famous nude paintings by some of your favorite artists.

We offer a 100% money back guarantee or replacement service. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your painting please contact us within 7 days of receipt, advising the reason you are unhappy and we will provide you with all the information you need for its return or replacement.

We ship free to anywhere in the world via FedEx or DHL expedited service with online tracking.

Your painting will be shipped rolled in strong plastic tubing, ready for stretching and/or framing locally. This is the conventional method of transporting hand-painted oil on canvas. Learn more about how your painting is shipped.

We are able to offer a framing service intercontinental U.S. Please contact us if you would like a quotation. Alternatively, should you prefer, we can recommend a framer in your area.

Notes About Your Painting

Please note that replica oil paintings are finished with an additional 10cm (4") of extra canvas on all sides, allowing ample surplus canvas for stretching and framing.

Why settle for a poster or paper art print when you can own a real oil painting on canvas? This is a hand painted oil painting reproduction of a masterpiece, by a talented artist no electronic transfer methods are employed.

Cannot Find What You Are Looking For?

Customer Service

(Send Us A Message)

Call Toll Free +1 888 858 8236
+1 888 858 8236 (Toll Free)

Tel: (503) 937 2010
Fax: (503) 937 2011

Skype Us artoncanvas

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Pinterest

What is a Gallery Wrap?

Gallery Wrap Option