DIAZ DE LA PENA Narcisse ( 1807 / 1876 )Woman in forest.Oil on panel signed lower right.7,1 / 9,5 inOriginal frame.Narcisse VIRGILE DIAZ DE LA PENA was born to Spanish emigrant parents on August 20, 1808, in Bordeaux. He survived the loss of a leg in a childhood accident and further suffered the death of his parents at age fifteen. Diazís artistic training was as a porcelain painter. He learned the fine skill of porcelain painting in the Dupreís factory and it was Jules Dupre who eventually introduced him to Barbizon. He studied briefly with the painter Souchon. His early paintings catered to the popular taste for 18th century style Rococo and resulted in financial success for the young artist. Fetes galantes were favorite subjects and the women depicted in Diaz's canvases were often cloaked in exotic Turkish garb, reflecting the artistís admiration for Delacroix and his orientalist followers. Indeed Diaz's first Salon entry in 1831, was titled Scene Amour.Diaz first visited Barbizon in 1835 and it was in 1837 that he met Rousseau. He learned to use color while painting alongside Rousseau whose vibrant, iridescent greens were unmatched. Unlike Rousseau who rarely placed figures in his paintings, Diaz most always placed a peasant woman on his forest paths. The influence of Rousseau could be seen in Diaz's Salon entry of that year depicting a view of Fontainebleau Forest. Through the 1840s his figure paintings continued to be the major part of his work and are thought to have influenced the female subjects of Corot, Renoir and certainly Monticelli.Although the best known of his works are the forest interiors inspired by Rousseau; there are many exceptional paintings outside that theme such as ìYoung Page with Houndsî which is inspirational in the use of pure color. violondingres.fr
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