Unraveling the Story Behind the Fallen Angel Painting by Alexandre Cabanel

Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889) was a renowned French painter who is known for creating intricately detailed and emotional works of art. Among his most popular paintings is the “Fallen Angel,” which captures the moment when an angel has been cast out of heaven and left to grapple with his newfound mortality. This painting has fascinated art lovers and art historians alike for decades, and in this blog post, we’ll delve into the story behind the painting, its meaning, and the impact it has had on the art world.

What Is the Meaning of the Fallen Angel Painting by Alexandre Cabanel?

The “Fallen Angel” painting portrays a powerful and poignant scene where an angel is depicted falling from the heavens and landing on Earth. The central figure, with his immense wingspan and piercing eyes, appears to be in distress, his head tilted back in an anguished cry. The painting captures the moment when the cherub has been cast out of heaven and must confront the reality of his own mortality.

Cabanel’s painting reflects the Romanticism movement that emerged in the early 19th century, where artists sought to break free from classical traditions and create emotionally charged and imaginative works of art. The “Fallen Angel” is a perfect example of this movement, as it depicts a fantastical scene with heightened emotion and drama.

The Fallen Angel Painting Story

Cabanel’s “Fallen Angel” painting was first exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1847, where it received widespread acclaim. The painting’s success led to Cabanel being appointed as a professor at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His painting, which depicted a religious subject in a non-traditional way, was a significant departure from the academic style of painting favored at the time.

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The “Fallen Angel” painting has been hailed as a masterpiece of 19th-century art. It has been replicated countless times on everything from postcards to T-shirts. The painting has inspired numerous artists, and its impact can be seen in works by Gustave Doré, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Blake.

Fallen Angel Art – What Did Alexandre Cabanel Do?

Cabanel was a prominent French painter who was born in Montpellier in 1823. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became a professor there later in life. Cabanel was a prolific artist, and his works centered on mythological, historical, and religious subjects.

Cabanel was heavily influenced by the classical style of painting and incorporated it into his work. The “Fallen Angel” painting is an excellent example of this influence. The painting is highly detailed and features carefully crafted figures, all rendered in the classical style.

What is the Original Size of Fallen Angel by Alexandre Cabanel?

Cabanel’s “Fallen Angel” painting measures 91 cm x 127 cm (36 in x 50 in) and is an oil on canvas piece. This size may have seemed unusual for a painting with such a complex composition. Given the level of detail, Cabanel’s brushwork must have been very precise and meticulous.

Is the Fallen Angel Painting Renaissance?

The “Fallen Angel” painting is not from the Renaissance. Its style is more similar to the Romanticism movement that emerged in the 19th century. The Romanticism movement emphasized imagination, emotion, and individualism. The “Fallen Angel” painting perfectly captures these key elements of the Romanticism movement.

The Fallen Angel Painting Price

The “Fallen Angel” painting has been reproduced countless times, but the original painting is not for sale. It is part of the collection of the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, France. The artwork is considered priceless and holds tremendous cultural and historical significance.

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Fallen Angel Meaning

The “Fallen Angel” painting holds numerous meanings depending on how one chooses to interpret it. The painting can be seen as a representation of the human condition, where a powerful figure has fallen from grace and must come to terms with his mortality. It can also be viewed as a reminder of the challenges and emotional turmoil that can come from losing one’s place within a community.

The painting can also be seen as an allegory of the struggle between good and evil. In the painting, the angel is depicted with wings, a halo, and a white robe, which are all symbols of purity and goodness. However, he finds himself fallen and torn, which represents the evil that has taken hold of him.


Alexandre Cabanel’s “Fallen Angel” is a masterpiece of Romanticism art that has captivated audiences for over a century. The painting’s powerful emotional content and realistic depiction of a religious subject were groundbreaking at the time of its creation. Today, the painting is considered a cultural and historical treasure and is a source of inspiration for many artists around the world. Cabanel’s artwork is a testament to the power of art to move, inspire, and transform the human spirit.