The Fallen Angel by Alexandre Cabanel


The Fallen Angel is part of the Musée Fabre collection. It is a classic portrayal of a man by an academic artist Alexandre Cabanel. With the crafted way he depicts the musculature of the figure.  The angel has both arms raised and his fingers of his two hands interlocked hiding most of his face.  Cabanel’s inspiration for this work was John Milton’s 1667 epic poem Paradise Lost and the fallen angels, Moloch, Belial, Mulciber, Mammon and Beelzebub.  In the work we see the “fallen” angel – fallen from grace and banished by God. 


Despite this shielding of his facial expression, it does not hide from us his feelings as we can judge his mood by what we see in his eyes.  There is a look of vengeance and anger in his eyes.  He knows someone will pay for his ejection from the side of God.  He retains his pride but thinks about retribution. The subject shocked the exhibition jurists as no students had ever submitted from Rome a painting which featured the Devil.  This was a history painting submission and certain rules had to be followed and the jurists and academics who examined the work criticized it for bordering on a style of Romanticism.