Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña (French, Bordeaux 1808–1876 Menton)
Oil on canvas
46 1/2 x 27 3/4 in. (118.1 x 70.5 cm)
Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900
Not on view
In the Salon of 1848, Diaz exhibited a painting entitled The Departure of Diana for the Hunt, which was criticized for inept drawing. The following year, he painted this picture, larger than the first and characterized by careful draughtsmanship and a greater sense of movement. Its classical subject and high-key palette reflect the artist's interest in the works of Correggio (1489–1534) and Prud'hon (1758–1823).
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): N. Diaz. 49.
Prosper Crabbe, Brussels; E. Secrétan, Paris (until 1889; his sale, Sedelmeyer, Paris, July 1, 1889, no. 19, as "Diana, Huntress," for $14,200, to Montaignac); [Isidore Montaignac, Paris, from 1889]; Collis P. Huntington, New York (until d. 1900; his bequest to MMA with life interest to his widow, Arabella D. Huntington, later [from 1913] Mrs. Henry E. Huntington, 1900–d. 1924; life interest to their son, Archer Milton Huntington, 1924–terminated in 1925)
Paris. Galerie Georges Petit. "Cent chefs-d'œuvre des collections parisiennes," June 12–?, 1883, no. 38 (as "Diane").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Taste of the Seventies," April 2–September 10, 1946, no. 90 (as "Diana the Huntress").
Art Gallery of Toronto. "The Classical Contribution to Western Civilization," December 15, 1948–January 31, 1949, not in catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barbizon: French Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," February 4–May 10, 1992, no catalogue.
D. C. T. "The Secrétan Collection." Art Journal, n.s., (November 1889), p. 310, notes that it sold for £2,840 at the Secrétan sale.
"The Sale of the Secrétan Pictures." Art Amateur 21 (August 1889), p. 63, notes that this picture sold for $14,200 to Montaignac at the Secrétan sale in July 1889.
John W. Mollett. The Painters of Barbizon: Millet, Rousseau, Diaz, Corot, Daubigny, Dupré. London, 1895, p. 125, calls it "Diana the Huntress".
Bryson Burroughs. "The Collis P. Huntington Collection Comes to the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 20 (June 1925), p. 143.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 70–71, ill., state that this is a replica of a picture Diaz exhibited in the Salon of 1848 (probably Ref. Miquel and Miquel 2006, no. 2847), noting that ours is larger with "very careful drawing and a greater effect of movement"; mention another small replica on panel, also from 1849 (Ref. Miquel and Miquel 2006, no. 2173); discuss the influences of Chassériau, Couture, and Daumier which show Diaz "responding eagerly to all the developments of his time".
Pierre Miquel and Rolande Miquel. "Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint." Narcisse Diaz de la Peña (1807–1876). 2006, vol. 1, p. 69; vol. 2, pp. 358, 370, 437, 466–67, 471, 487, 561, no. 2963, ill., call it "Départ de Diane pour la chasse"; state that this was the painting shown in the Salon of 1848, and that it was retouched in 1849.
Miquel and Miquel [Ref. 2006] catalogue five other versions of this composition, calling one (no. 2842; location unknown) a study for ours. They also identify our painting as the one shown in the Salon of 1848 as "Départ de Diane pour la chasse." However Sterling and Salinger [Ref. 1966] consider ours to be a replica of the Salon painting.