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Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Pena

1809 Bordeaux
1876 Menton

Narcisse-Virgile Díaz de la Peña, actually Virgilio Narcisso, was born in Bordeaux on August 20, 1809. The landscapes of this French painter who had a Spanish background were groundbreaking for French Impressionism.
His artistic career began in 1824 with an apprenticeship as a porcelain painter. With support from François Souchon and Xavier Sigalon, he went to Paris in 1830 as a freelance painter. Inspired by the works of Correggio and the Dutch Masters in the Louvre, his first works appeared with medieval and romantic subjects.
Through his acquaintance with Théodore Rousseau, he discovered his preference for landscape painting. The things most important to him in this were the precise representation of the atmosphere and the light reflections from nature on the canvas. Díaz de la Peña liked to work on his primarily mythological subjects in small formats with an extraordinary brilliance and power of expression.
Among his most well-known works are for example "Sleeping Nymph" (around 1850 in the Musée National du Louvre, Paris) and "Diana as a Huntress" (1869 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).
Narcisse-Virgile Díaz de la Peña died on November 18, 1876 in Menton.

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