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Josef Abel

Josef Abel began his studies at the Vienna Academy in 1783, where he was a pupil of Heinrich Füger. On his teacher’s advice he turned his attention to history painting and in 1794 won the Academy’s gold medal for his painting of Daedalus and Icarus. From 1801 to 1807 Abel lived in Rome, where he worked after the Renaissance masters and continued his studies of history painting; during this time he was on friendly terms with the landscape painter, Johann Christian Reinhart. After returning to Vienna he cultivated a neoclassical style of history painting modelled on Füger, focusing almost exclusively on subjects from antiquity.