Louis (Nicolas) Cabat (1812-1893)
“Cabat, a French landscape painter, born at Paris Dec. 24, 1812; studied painting under M. Camille Flers (1802-1868), and visited the most picturesque parts of France. He first exhibited in the « salon » of 1833 some landscapes which the critics pronounced to be too realistic; but he persevered in this style of painting till 1837, and became the founder of a school. From that period till 1848 he only contributed twice to the annual exhibitions (in 1840 and 1841), but since 1848 he has been a regular contributor. M. Cabat was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1867, and unanimously chosen Director, in Nov., 1878, of the French School of Painting at Rome.” (Thompson Cooper, Men of the Time, 1884)
When director of the Villa, a young artist, Henri Lucien Doucet (1856-1895), sent a piece considered too bold (scene of Harem) which entailed the non-renewal of Cabat at the head of the Villa.
Cabat is considered a self-educated artist like his friend of early days, Charles Jacque. “Charles Jacque had first been introduced to these Old Masters early in his career (he was 17 years old in 1830) when Louis Cabat, then a young porcelain painter who lived next door to Jacque (passage Saint-Antoine), took him to the Bibliothèque Nationale where they looked at prints by or after the work of Poussin, Lorrain, Dürer, and Rembrandt.” (Rehs Gallery)