Figures and a Dog in a Landscape
- Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Peña (French, Bordeaux 1808–1876 Menton)
- Oil on wood
- 17 1/4 x 11 3/4 in. (43.8 x 29.8 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
- Accession Number:
At the center of this landscape is a group of figures posed in a pyramidal arrangement borrowed from Renaissance prototypes of the Holy Family. The man, who serves as the highest point of this arrangement of figures, imitates representations of the biblical Joseph as he leans to his left and gazes at the seated woman from behind her shoulder. His attitude and simple nineteenth century peasant attire contrast to those of the woman and child, who are more elaborately dressed with soft yellow hair and contemplative, downcast gazes. The two female figures look to the attentive and loyal dog who sits in the leftmost foreground before a pool of water.
Diaz applies paint liberally to parts of the canvas and sparingly to others, leaving the gessoed canvas showing through the painted surface in the foreground. His visible brushwork and attention to the landscape recall eighteenth century precedents by Rococo artists such as Watteau and Fragonard.