Narcisse Diaz de la Pena
Paysannes dans la foret d’automne,
Oil on canvas (19th century)
13 × 19 1/2 in
33 × 49.5 cm
Out of stock
The son of Thomas de la Pena of Salamanca in Spain, a political opponent of Joseph Bonaparte, who was forced to flee Spain with his pregnant wife to hide in Bordeaux, where Narcisse was born. The boy lost a leg to a viper bite at age 10. As a man, he became friends with Julien Dupre. Closely linked with the landscape painters of the Barbizon School, Diaz began his training as a painter in the porcelain factory in Sèvres, where he worked alongside Dupré. Though his early independent works had mythological, exotic, or literary subjects, Diaz was most devoted to landscape and nature painting. He was strongly influenced by Eugène Delacroix and Théodore Rousseau, though he is perhaps most strongly indebted to Jean-Antoine Watteau’s paintings of fêtes-galantes (the pursuits of the idle rich). Diaz’s own landscapes were characterized by vivid and dense foliage with patches of light or sky; within these setting, he frequently included groups of musicians, peasants, and gypsies. His work is represented in many major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The 1891 GI Seney catalogue describes this painting poetically: “Early autumn has commenced to give to nature the warm flush that precedes the bitter barrenness of winter. The trees are still in full foliage, and the turf is rich and strong. Only a few leaves have fallen … At the left is the figure of a girl.”
The painting is in very good condition. Slight craquelure, appropriate for age. Lined canvas. Under UV: some finely applied spots of retouching. Hand-signed by artist, LL front. Frame is included.
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