Important impressionistic landscape painting with a figure at the pond was created by very renowed French artist Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña (1807 Bordeaux - 1876 Menton (Alpes-Maritimes)).
Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Pena was the French painter and lithographer of the group of landscape painters known as the Barbison School, who is distinguished for his numerous romantic depictions of the forest of Fontainebleau and his landscape fantasies with mythological figures. At 15 Diaz began working as a ceramic painter for the Sèvres porcelain factory. He studied for a time with the academic painter Alexandre Cabanel. Strongly influenced by Delacroix and the Romantics and attracted by medieval and Middle Eastern art, he often in his early career painted exotic subjects. About 1840 Diaz began to paint landscapes in the forest of Fontainebleau near the village of Barbizon. These landscapes, which dominated his work for the rest of his career, characteristically have a pervasive sense of the shadowy seclusion of the forest; e.g., “Forest Scene” (1867; St. Louis [Mo.] Art Museum). Dense, vividly coloured foliage is broken by spots of light or patches of sky shining through the branches. During the last 15 years of his life Diaz seldom exhibited publicly. He was helpful and sympathetic to the Impressionists, especially Renoir, whom he met in 1861 at Barbizon.
Literature : "Narcisse de la Pena", catalogue raisonne l´oeuvre peint" by Pierre et Rolande Miquel, ACR Edition; Thieme/Becker "Arist Lexicon (in German); Benezit "Artist lexicon"(in French), A. Flustin, Les Artistes cilbres: Díaz (Paris); D. Croal Thomson, The Barbizon School of Painters (London, 1890); J. W. Mollett, Díaz (London, 1890); J. Claretie, Peintres et sculpteurs contemporains: Díaz (Paris, 1882); Albert Wolff, La Capitale de Lan: Narcisse Díaz (Paris, 1886); Ph. Burty, Maîtres et petitmaîtres: N. Díaz (Paris, 1877). (D.C.T.)
Inscription: signed lower left: "N.Diaz".
Technique: oil on wood panel. Original period gold-plated frame.
Measurements: unframed 19 13/4" x 14 1/2" (50 x 37 cm); framed 32 1/4 " x 27 1/8" (82 x 69 cm).
Condition: in very good condition