Our painting, Clairiere et Mare aux Viperes, Foret de Fontainebleau, is a charming landscape characteristic of the Barbizon style. A vast blue sky, nearly hidden by billowy clouds, dominates much of the composition. It is the verdant Forest of Fontainebleau however that captures our attention, rich in color of warm yellows and greens. In the foreground is a crisp pond reflecting the scene; the lush green trees and central blue patch of the sky. In a clearing between the trees is a figure dressed in red, rendered diminutive by the vastness of the composition and the sheer beauty of the landscape.
Signature: N. Diaz
London, Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox, May 1960, no. 14
Pierre & Rolande Miquel, Narcisse Diaz de la Pena: catalogue raisonne de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 2006, vol. II, p. 38, no. 224, catalogued & illustrated
Sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 4 March 1920, lot 38
Kapferer pere collection (sale: 26 February 1929)
Tempelaere collection; Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox
Private Collection, USA
About Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña
Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña was a painter and lithographer closely linked with the landscape painters of the Barbizon School, though his influences varied widely. Diaz began his training as a painter in the porcelain factory in Sèvres, where he worked alongside and befriended Jules-Louis 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.
Spanish-French, August 25, 1808 - November 18, 1876, Bordeaux, France, based in Menton, France