(b Aschach, Aug 22, 1764; d Vienna, Oct 4, 1818).
Austrian painter. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna under Jakob Matthias Schmutzer (1733–1811) from 1783. On the advice of his mentor, Heinrich Füger, Abel turned from landscape to history painting, winning a gold medal in 1794 for Daedalus and Icarus (Vienna, Akad. Bild. Kst.). He was invited to Poland in 1795 by Prince Adam Casimir Czartoryski, and he produced numerous family portraits for the prince in a variety of media. In 1797 he returned to Vienna, where he taught, as well as undertaking commissions for paintings and for prints (e.g. Portrait of the Artist’s Father, see Aurenhammer, fig.).
Abel had a preference for Classical subject-matter during his early training, and this was reinforced by his stay in Rome from 1801 to 1807. During this period he painted his most important work, F. G. Klopstock in Elysium (1803–7; Vienna, Belvedere), in collaboration with his friend ...