Narcisse Virgilio Diaz de la Peña was born to Spanish parents, but following their early deaths was raised by a protestant minister near Paris. In 1823 he worked in the same porcelain factory as Jules-Louis Dupré, with whom he became a lifelong friend. 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’. From the mid-1830s he frequently stayed in the Forest of Fontainebleau, and was greatly influenced by Théodore Rousseau. He was also influenced by eighteenth-century decorative landscape, and often peopled his own landscapes with musicians, peasants and gypsies.
– J. van Wisselingh, Amsterdam;
– with Douwes Fine Art, Amsterdam, 1985;
– to a private Dutch collection;
– thence by descent to the current owners.
– Amsterdam, Gebr. Douwes Fine Art, ‘Jubilee Exhibition of French 19th century Paintings, 1805-1885, Nov-Dec. 1985, cat no. 17, colour ill.