Narcisse Diaz de la Peña

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Narcisse Virgilio Díaz de la Peña (1807 - 1876) French painter, born to Spanish parents, member of the group of landscape painters known as the Barbizon School. He studied for a time with Alexandre Cabanel. Strongly influenced by Eugene Delacroix and the Romantics and attracted by medieval and Middle Eastern art, he often in his early career painted exotic subjects. [1] Some of his works are: "La Fée aux Perles" 1857, "Sunset in the Forest" 1868, "Forest of Fontainebleau" 1868 and "The Storm" 1871.

He began copying paintings in the Louvre - this influenced his early work which is based on mythology and literature. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1831 with "Scene of Love". Diaz was an inspiration to younger French artists, including the Impressionists. [2] Several of the Impressionists were influenced by him, notably Renoir, who said that meeting Diaz led him to lighten his palette; [3] Renoir once said "my hero was Díaz". "Renoir: An Intimate Record", Page 9.

Renoir also commented about Diaz de la Peña's paintings: "his pictures have become very black, but in those days (early 1860s) they sparkled like precious stones." Ibidem In the forest of Fontainebleau, in 1863, Renoir met the Bordeaux painter Narcisse Diaz who advised him to lighten his palette. [4]

Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña was one of the foremost figures of the first generation of Barbizon artists. He, along with Rousseau, Millet, Daubigny, Corot, Dupré, Jacque and Troyon, established the Barbizon movement that drew hundreds of artists to the forest of Fontainebleau over the course of the nineteenth century... He was officially decorated even after leaving the official exhibition system when he received the Legion d’honneur in 1881. [5]

Diaz de la Peña Common with Stormy Sunset.jpg

Common with Stormy Sunset, 1850.

The Storm, 1871.

External links

Forest with Mother and Child, ca. 1876.
Forest of Fontainebleau, 1868.