Alexandre Denis ABEL DE PUJOL (Valenciennes, 1787 - Paris, 1861)
The illegitimate son of Mortry de Pujol, founder of the Académie de Peinture et Sculpture in Valenciennes, Alexandre-Denis Abel studied there before completing his training in the studio of Jacques-Louis David in Paris. He won a 1st class medal at the Académie in 1806 and another medal at the Salon of 1810 for a painting of Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph. In 1811 Abel won the Prix de Rome, after which he was formally recognized by his father and was able to add the name Pujol to his own. As a result of poor health, Abel was only able to study in Italy for eight months, but resumed his career in Paris with much success. A painting of The Death of Brittanicus won gold medals from Napoleon and Louis XVIII in 1814, while a painting of The Stoning of Saint Stephen, intended for the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, was similarly successful at the Salon of 1817, and established his reputation. Abel continued to produce paintings, altarpieces and designs for stained-glass windows for Parisian churches throughout his career, including at Saint-Sulpice, Notre-Dame, the Madeleine and elsewhere. He was also in great demand as a painter of public mural decorations, often in grisaille, for the Palais du Louvre, the Bourse, the Palais de Luxembourg and elsewhere.